Brexit’s impact on West Midlands Transport Manufacturing


Brexit raises the possibility of severe disruption to manufacturing supply chains and logistics in the West Midlands, and elsewhere in the UK.

With thousands of jobs potentially being at stake if companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Airbus and BMW scale down production in the UK, the Centre for Brexit Studies, with the support of the West Midlands Combined Authority, have launched a survey of the automotive, rail and aerospace sector to gain a better understanding of the logistics and operations of our transport ‘makers’.

The automotive industry alone is thought to support over 800,000 jobs in the UK. These manufacturing sectors are especially vulnerable to a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, with concerns in automotive in particular as to how a No Deal scenario would lead to tariff barriers, customs delays affecting supply chains and the need to stockpile parts.

The Centre are aiming to get a clear idea of where manufacturers, suppliers and related services buy and sell their wares or services, how they move them to clients and source off suppliers and their consequent exposure to Brexit in terms of procurement, operations, HR and compliance/risk management.

The survey is open to those who work within the fields of automotive, rail and aerospace, with the aim for the Centre for Brexit Studies to be able to understand how businesses across the industries, which are based in the West Midlands, are prepared for Brexit during an increasingly uncertain time.

Professor Alex de Ruyter, Director at the Centre for Brexit Studies, states that the survey is a necessary part in understanding just how prepared businesses are for Brexit. He said: “We’re really pleased to have the support of the West Midlands Combined Authority in undertaking this survey.

“We hope to reach a wide range of transport manufacturers, suppliers and services to be able to fully understand how ready for Brexit companies within the West Midlands are, and what they feel about the future outside of the EU.

“We are looking forward to analysing the data from the survey, and hosting an event later this year to discuss our findings.”

Ian Henry, Owner and Managing Director of AutoAnalysis and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Brexit Studies, said: “This survey is designed to quantify the value of the automotive and other key manufacturing sectors in the West Midlands, and identify the key problems and issues facing large and small suppliers alike as Brexit approaches.

“The results will be invaluable in helping to scope the policy response in the region, from both local and national government bodies. We very much encourage companies to respond – the better the response the better and more focused the help available can be.”

If you represent a Manufacturer (OEM) or Supplier (tier 1, tier 2 etc.) or a Related Service to the sector (e.g., engineering, design), you can take part in the survey here

The findings of the survey will be discussed in a workshop to be held at Birmingham City University in 2020.

Survey enquiries contact:
General enquiries contact:
Press enquires contact:

This project is funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Find out more about the Academics working on the project here:

Professor Alex de Ruyter
Ian Henry
Professor David Bailey
Di Li
Rachel Eade
Dr Shishank Shishank
David Hearne

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