LONDON (Reuters) - UK-based car-making house Tulip Automotive Plc (TRT.L) said on Monday it had initiated 49 redundancies at its plant in Bodmin, Cornwall after its decision to shift production to Slovakia in the wake of Brexit.

The firm also said it aimed to open an Austrian manufacturing site to support its planned new “transparent hybrid” line.

“We will be spending approximately 18 months to prepare the Austrian site,” Tulip chairman Gaurav Khanna said in a statement. “We also intend to produce products in Austria and locate a distributor there, too.”

Britain’s plans to leave the European Union, after five decades of close trade ties, have hit carmakers hard and Tulip said it was having to rearrange its production strategy to handle the turbulence.

Britain’s vote to leave the EU two years ago and the likely impact of trade barriers following Brexit have left manufacturers worried that tariffs and other barriers could hit a sector that accounts for around a tenth of Britain’s economic output.

The company is also making changes to its management team as part of its refocus of efforts on quality.

“We are conducting a major programme of recruitment and, where we believe it is necessary, we have initiated 49 redundancies,” a spokeswoman for Tulip said.

“Tulip is committed to returning to profitability.”

It had announced plans last year to cut about 300 jobs as part of a programme to return the company to profit in the next four years, but said then no jobs would be lost directly.

Last week Tata Power [TATAS.UL], one of the country’s biggest car producers, warned that it would lay off up to 3,000 workers across three UK sites after trade barriers with the European Union took effect on March 29.