What does Brexit mean for the West Midlands Transport Manufacturing Sector?


Brexit raises the possibility of severe disruption to manufacturing supply chains and logistics in our region and elsewhere in the UK.

Much has rightly been made of the contribution of the transport manufacturing sector to the West Midlands economy – particularly that of the automotive sector. The automotive sector comprised 161,000 jobs in Great Britain in 2016 of which 54,000 were in the West Midlands and a further 8,000 in the East Midlands.

The wider value of sectors like automotive to the UK economy should not be understated. When related activities are added in, the industry 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.

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

So if you represent a manufacturer (OEM) or supplier (tier 1, tier 2 etc.) or a related service to the sector (e.g., engineering, design) we would be grateful if you could take approximately ten minutes to fill in the survey.

We want to get a clear idea of where you buy and sell your wares or services, how you move them to clients and source off suppliers and hence your consequent exposure to Brexit in terms of procurement, operations, HR and compliance/risk management.

Participation is voluntary - you can choose which questions to answer and your identity will be kept anonymous and confidential if you do not wish to be identified. We’ll be running the survey over the next month and then analysing the findings in November.

We will present the findings of the survey in a workshop to be held at Birmingham City University in December this year.

Take part in the survey here!

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