Ford's Dagenham diesel engine plant is a marvel of mechanization—a steel and chrome hangar full of LED lighting, robots and computer-controlled machine tools.
The U.S. carmaker has invested $2.5 billion in the plant, where 3,150 people churn out an engine every 30 seconds. And they've been here a long time: Edsel Ford, son of founder Henry Ford, personally cut the sod to start construction of the company's U.K. manufacturing headquarters in 1929.
It's hard to imagine Ford would walk away from all that if Britain fails to negotiate a favorable trade deal when it leaves the European Union. But don't bet on it.
With auto parts passing through as many as 15 countries before a car is completed, a Brexit agreement that results in new tariffs that increase the cost of Ford vehicles for consumers is no small problem.
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