Rapide Attempts To Vanquish Brexit: Aston Martin Stockpiling Cars in Germany

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
rapide attempts to vanquish brexit aston martin stockpiling cars in germany

Brits have now been grappling with their Brexit situation for what now seems like an interminable amount of time, with no shortage of digital ink and political hot air spilled about the subject.

Looking past all the posturing, however, a disorderly departure from the EU could contain serious ramifications for companies making products in Britain, and fancy-pants Aston Martin has initiated a contingency plan to handle a “no deal” Brexit. Prepping for a worst-case scenario, the company is stockpiling cars in … Germany.

The historical irony of that move is not lost on this author.

A quick geopolitical recap of the situation would likely be helpful to most readers (and myself, truth be told). Britain plans to hold a vote in Parliament on January 15th on the government’s deal to leave the European Union. It had originally been scheduled for December 10th, but the Prime Minister postponed it, admitting in the House of Commons it would have been “rejected by a significant margin.”

The withdrawal deal, which is required before more wide-ranging discussions on future relations can begin, foresees relatively close future economic ties with Europe in order to avoid the imposition of a hard border between EU member Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

Leaving the EU with no deal in place brings about the prospect of supply chain interruptions, goods shortages, possible tariffs, and blocked ports. This possibility has, in recent weeks, pushed companies like Aston Martin to ramp up contingency plans designed to avoid disruptions in getting their British-made products to other markets.

In an interview with Reuters, Aston boss Andy Palmer outlined some of the actions his company is taking to avoid calamity, including avoiding the port of Dover and flying in automobile components on airplanes.

“We don’t have any assurances,” said Palmer, referring to the flow of goods after Brexit. “One assumes if you’re putting parts onto a standard chartered plane, no one’s going to kick you off.”

I’m picturing Aston execs smuggling DB11 parts into the country in their carry-on luggage, or sewing key components into the linings of their jackets so cars can be built at the factory in Warwick.

Another tool in the company’s Brexit Belt is the apparent stockpiling of cars in Germany. “It’s an inventory to some extent that we put in place during the course of 2018 … and depending on what happens in the next few weeks, may or may not increase,” Palmer told Reuters. There is, after all, a solid chance that a disorderly Brexit may cause delay of goods entering the country, throwing a wrench into any just-in-time production process, particularly automotive manufacturing.

While the well-heeled Aston Martin customer base may very well be able to absorb a price increase slapped on their cars thanks to Brexit, they’ll likely be less impressed by delays caused by complicated paperwork at the new border and associated delays.

We imagine that, keeping with its cool-as-ice image, Aston has given its contingency plan a name worthy of a James Bond flick (like the Crypto Contingency, or something).

[Images: Aston Martin)

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  • Uncle Mellow Uncle Mellow on Jan 09, 2019

    Since I left the UK nearly 50 years ago, I didn't get to vote, but I still believe "BREXIT" will not happen. Sanity will prevail.

    • See 1 previous
    • Kendahl Kendahl on Jan 09, 2019

      @Inside Looking Out The EU is trying to become a nation state with its members demoted from independent nations to subservient provinces. For example, there is talk of European armed forces that would be loyal to the EU instead of the existing forces that are loyal to their respective countries.

  • Jatz Jatz on Jan 10, 2019

    I want a Midsomer Murders about parts-smuggling luxury car execs!

  • Lou_BC "Owners of affected Wrangles" Does a missing "r" cancel an extra stud?
  • Slavuta One can put a secret breaker that will disable the starter or spark plug supply. Even disabling headlights or all lights will bring more trouble to thieves than they wish for. With no brake lights, someone will hit from behind, they will leave fingerprints inside. Or if they steal at night, they will have to drive with no lights. Any of these things definitely will bring attention.I remember people removing rotor from under distributor cup.
  • Slavuta Government Motors + Government big tech + government + Federal police = fascist surveillance state. USSR surveillance pales...
  • Johnster Another quibble, this time about the contextualization of the Thunderbird and Cougar, and their relationship to the prestigious Continental Mark. (I know. It's confusing.) The Thunderbird/Mark IV platform introduced for the 1971 model year was apparently derived from the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform (also introduced for the 1971 model year), but should probably be considered different from it.As we all know, the Cougar shared its platform with the Ford Mustang up through the 1973 model year, moving to the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform for the 1974 model year. This platform was also shared with the failed Ford Gran Torino Elite, (introduced in February of 1974, the "Gran Torino" part of the name was dropped for the 1975 and 1976 model years).The Thunderbird/Mark series duo's separation occurred with the 1977 model year when the Thunderbird was downsized to share a platform with the LTD II/Cougar. The 1977 model year saw Mercury drop the "Montego" name and adopt the "Cougar" name for all of their mid-sized cars, including plain 2-doors, 4-doors and and 4-door station wagons. Meanwhile, the Cougar PLC was sold as the "Cougar XR-7." The Cougar wagon was dropped for the 1978 model year (arguably replaced by the new Zephyr wagon) while the (plain) 2-door and 4-door models remained in production for the 1978 and 1979 model years. It was a major prestige blow for the Thunderbird. Underneath, the Thunderbird and Cougar XR-7 for 1977 were warmed-over versions of the failed Ford Elite (1974-1976), while the Mark V was a warmed-over version of the previous Mark IV.
  • Stuart de Baker This is depressing, and I don't own one of these.