Why Jaguar Land Rover is idling its UK assembly plant

Lloyd Doyle
October 9, 2018

JLR on Monday reported total retail sales of 57,114 vehicles in September 2018, down 12.3 percent year-on-year, hit by lower demand in China, the company said.

Jaguar Land Rover is to close its Solihull plant for two weeks because of slumping sales in China, where trade tensions with the U.S. are hitting consumer confidence.

Staff will be sent home on full pay for a fortnight from 22 October as the British auto manufacturer stops producing any vehicles, as it tries to match supply to dwindling demand.

"As part of the company's continued strategy for profitable growth, Jaguar Land Rover is focused on achieving operational efficiencies and will align supply to reflect fluctuating demand globally as required", a spokesperson said.

China's automobile sales have been falling in recent months, with a slowing economy and trade frictions making consumers cautious about spending, an industry body said last month.

Chinese sales almost halved, falling 46.2 per cent, with JLR blaming import duty changes and trade tensions for hurting consumer appetite.

JLR sales fell 0.8 percent in the United Kingdom and 4.7 percent in Europe, which saw large industry declines of 20.5 percent in the United Kingdom and 31 percent in Germany primarily relating to the timing of new WLTP homologation rules as well as reduced diesel demand, it added.

"As a business, we are continuing to experience challenging conditions in some of our key markets". The Solihull plant, where the Tata Group company produces its Range Rover and Jaguar models, will close from October 22.

Unite, the UK's biggest union for auto workers, said a "triple whammy" of Brexit uncertainty, government confusion over diesel and ministers' half-hearted support for electric vehicles was threatening the future of the United Kingdom auto industry.

It comes after earlier this year 1,000 agency staff at the site were axed while another plant in Castle Bromwich saw production cut back to a three-day week.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article