DETROIT – The much anticipated vote on Brexit, which will now lead to Great Britain’s departure from the European Union, is causing widespread worry in financial and business circles around the world. And among those fearing the impact are key global automakers like Toyota, General Motors and Britain’s own Jaguar Land Rover.
Calling it “the big unknown,” one industry official warned that automakers will have to give serious thought to future trade and investments, among other things. The possibility that the Brexit vote could trigger other independence movements is adding to the worries, according to financial and political analysts.
“All hell will break loose,” said Joe Eberhardt, the CEO of Jaguar Land Rover’s North American operations. “First of all it will have a short-term impact on the currency. My bigger concern is long term. Right away all the exporting companies in the UK will be facing tariffs because they are not part of the negotiated EU trade agreement. It would not be good for us.”
The British maker warned ahead of the Brexit vote that it would likely see a one billion pound, or $1.47 billion drop in earnings by the end of the decade. The company already has put on hold some of its global expansion plans. That includes a move to delay the start of construction at a new assembly plant in Slovakia.
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