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Aston Martin board approves air freight in Brexit planning
[LONDON] Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings Plc's board has authorized contingency planning for Brexit that includes shipping car components via air freight.
The luxury carmaker is signing deals with its supplier, DHL, to allow for the use of ports other than Dover and has authorized its supply chain team to make bookings for cargo planes, a spokeswoman said. The manufacturer, with its only plant in England, also holds a stock of vehicles in Germany.
Preparations at Aston Martin, maker of sports cars like the DB11, come as industries face a looming threat of the U.K. leaving the European Union without an exit deal in place, triggering measures such as stockpiling to prevent disruptions. Amid the threat of difficult logistics and tariffs, companies including Schaeffler AG, a German maker of ball bearings, have decided to scale down manufacturing in the U.K. to move production closer to where its products are used.
Automaker Vauxhall, owned by Peugeot-maker PSA Group, also announced in November plans to cut 241 jobs at its plant in Ellesmere Port, England, by the end of 2019. BMW AG, which makes Mini city cars, Rolls-Royce vehicles and engines in the U.K., has brought forward to April its annual summer maintenance shutdown and is exploring adding more warehouse space.
U.K. sales of new cars tumbled at their steepest rate since the financial crisis last year, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said Monday, with Brexit partly to blame for consumer uncertainty. Registrations dropped 6.8 percent decline to 2.4 million vehicles.
Reuters earlier reported Aston Martin's plan, citing an interview with Chief Executive Officer Andy Palmer.