Toyota's UK car builders are to be given a long weekend around Brexit Day, with staff told not to turn up for work on Friday November 1 or the following weekend, while bosses try to work out what's going on should the UK leave the EU as currently planned at close of October 31.
This is not a massively unusual move, mind, as carmakers often let their staff have odd says off to fit in with fluctuating demand, and the hours lost on November 1 will be made up in future. However, what the move does do is explain one of the key post-Brexit issues all of the UK-based makers face; the perils of the just-in-time supply chain.
Toyota says that its operations are so greasy-fine-tuned that it only runs with around 4.5 hours worth of stock to hand, so any disruption, even just the spending of a few more hours than usual filling in papers at the borders, could knock an entire factory offline. That's why Toyota staff are being given Brexit Day off, just in case its suppliers end up camped in 15 miles of lorry queues outside Calais. A spokesperson for the carmaker said it will "...build up additional inventory of a few days in the run-up to October 31" but that's not enough to keep running indefinitely. [Telegraph]