Peugeot boss: hard Brexit “an opportunity” if govt invests in domestic supply chains

Peugeot boss, Carlos Tavares, has said a hard Brexit could be an “opportunity” for the UK’s automotive industry, if a domestic supply chain is created.

His comments come after Nissan called for £100m of government funding to attract automotive suppliers to Britain.

The car industry calls echo Unite’s strategy to stimulate the re-shoring of jobs and industry through government investment in energy capacity, access to skills, improved transport infrastructure and the creation of a state investment bank.

Tavares, executive of Peugeot owner PSA, was speaking after the company’s €2.2bn purchase of Vauxhall from General Motors.

Whilst stating that tariff free access to the single market would leave the car industry in “better shape”, Tavares described a hard Brexit as a “nice opportunity” if government support to build supply chains was available.

He said: “A hard Brexit from UK plants will be a nice opportunity in terms of business. This is something that the UK government completely understands.”

“If it is a hard Brexit, then the supplier base needs to be developed. It is important that we source parts from the UK, so that the cost structure will be more in pounds.”

His comments follow calls last week from Japanese auto manufacturer Nissan for a £100m government investment to attract suppliers to the UK.

Nissan said that without a local supply chain, the long-term future of its Sunderland plant could not be guaranteed.

Recent moves by Sheffield Council have proved that suppliers are willing to invest in the UK, under the right conditions.

After receiving support from the council, McLaren Automotive announced last month that is opening a £50m plant in the city to manufacture chassis for the firm’s sports cars.