Ford has warned the Prime Minister that it's working on plans to move production out of the UK due to Brexit, according to reports.
The American-owned company's bosses made the warning to Theresa May during a private call with business leaders, .
Ford declined to comment on the report, but a spokesperson said: "We have long urged the UK Government and Parliament to work together to avoid the country leaving the EU on a no-deal, hard Brexit basis on March 29. Such a situation would be catastrophic for the UK auto industry and Ford’s manufacturing operations in the country. We will take whatever action is necessary to preserve the competitiveness of our European business. We have no decision to announce today."
Ford, which has three production facilities and an R&D centre in the UK and employs around 13,000 staff, has previously revealed it was preparing alternative sites abroad but gave no further information.
It's currently undergoing a massive global restructuring of its business, including its European arm. It's planning a £14 billion cost-cutting programme, involving savings in manufacturing, engineering and purchasing, and will be evaluating its production sites as part of that process.
It recently cut around 400 jobs from its plant in Bridgend, South Wales.
British car industry officials have repeatedly warned of the damage that Brexit could cause. Several manufacturers are working on short-term contingency plans, including bringing forward production halts to just after 29 March, the day Britain is due to leave the European Union.
The Times reported that other businesses delivered a similar warning during the call. Nissan recently scrapped plans to produce the new X-Trail in Sunderland, citing Brexit concerns as well as the downturn in diesel popularity.