Volkswagen said it has increased stockpiles of cars in Britain, as politicians struggle to nail down the terms of the UK's departure from the European Union ahead of an October 31 deadline.
The potential for a disorderly "no deal" Brexit, and concerns about future trading relations, are forcing companies to take measures to mitigate the impact of potential tariffs.
"We have optimised inventory levels upwards to delay the impact of potential import tariffs for a while, but there are limits to what can be done," Juergen Stackmann, management board member of the VW passenger cars brand with responsibility for sales and marketing, told Reuters.
"If there are tariffs, we will not be able to absorb them or compensate the cost. We need to be realistic about the fact that cars would get more expensive for customers," he added.