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UK automakers to proceed with downtime despite possible Brexit delay

Automakers in the U.K. will proceed with their plans to idle factories in April despite the country's attempt to delay its exit from the European Union, the Financial Times (London) reported March 15.

Carmakers including Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Honda Motor Co. Ltd., Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC, and Volkswagen AG-owned Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd. all scheduled to shut their plants next month in preparation for a no-deal Brexit.

According to the report, many of these companies will no longer be able to reschedule their planned downtimes due to labor holidays and contractors carrying out repair and maintenance works at the facilities while closed.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders, the largest auto trade body in the U.K., urged politicians to unite and find a way to avert a no-deal Brexit to avoid "irreparable damage" to the country's automotive sector. In a statement, the group said that any deadline extension "must be purposeful and long enough to give business stability and Parliament time to reach consensus to end the deadlock."