What will happen in around 80 days from now? No one knows.
Aston Martin can’t afford to take any chances. With Brexit set to officially happen in just over 80 days’ time and with no deal between the UK and EU agreed upon, Aston Martin has to "prepare for the worst-case scenario.” Therefore, according to Reuters, the carmaker is getting underway with contingency plans for a "no-deal Brexit."
Among those plans include hiring a highly experienced supply chain chief to ensure everything gets to where it needs to before the world’s fifth largest economy leaves the EU. Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer says his company has no choice but to take drastic measures now in order to protect itself down the road.
"I don’t think we’ve been in a position in the last two years where we’ve been further apart from understanding where we’re going to end up,” Palmer told Reuters. "We program a car to align and order all the parts for those cars twelve weeks in advance. You don’t need to do the math to know that therefore takes us across the Brexit period.”
Like other UK automakers, such as Bentley and McLaren, Aston Martin is increasing its stocks due to expected border delays. It even inked a deal with a supplier allowing it access to ports other than Dover, the UK’s busiest port and the one most likely to be hit with customs delays. Shipping components by air freight is also being planned.
Another concern for Aston Martin is that it currently only has one UK factory, but it has decided to keep a stock of vehicles in Germany on the EU mainland. Of course, a deal between the UK and the EU block could have been worked out by now, saving Aston Martin and other automakers a lot of stress. And Palmer is blaming the politicians for the current state.
"Both the European and the UK politicians are not discharging the duty for which they are put in place which is basically to plan and bring certainty to allow the country to thrive,” he said. Although there’s still a possibility for a last-minute deal, the chances of that happening are getting smaller by the day. Aston Martin, whose wealthy customers will probably have no trouble dealing with possible price increases, simply cannot risk its financial health.