Jaguar announces shutdown amid falling sales and Brexit fears

JLR confirmed on Thursday afternoon that the Halewood assembly plant and its two factories in the West Midlands would both shut down for a week. Tony McDonough reports

JLR
Evoque production line at Jaguar Land Rover in Halewood

 

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will shut down all its UK manufacturing plants for one week, including its factory on Halewood in Merseyside, amid falling sales and Brexit uncertainty.

JLR confirmed on Thursday afternoon that the Halewood assembly plant, which employs more than 4,000 people, and its two factories in the West Midlands would both shut down for a week.

In a statement, the company said: “Jaguar Land Rover confirms that it will be suspending production at all UK manufacturing plants for one week commencing November 4, 2019. This prudent decision reflects the need to adjust production in the face of ongoing uncertainty caused by global external headwinds, including Brexit, which have impacted our sales volumes.”

The announcement follows a media report last weekend which claimed output at Halewood, which produces the Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport models, was to be cut by 7,000 vehicles a year amid weak sales.”

JLR, which is owned by Indian conglomerate Tata, is already embarking on a £2.5bn cost-cutting programme which will see the loss of 4,500 jobs in the UK and overseas. JLR  employs around 40,000 people in the UK with its two other main assembly plants located in the West Midlands.

In a statement following that report, JLR told LBN: “As part of its standard business practice, Jaguar Land Rover regularly reviews and adjusts its production schedules to ensure market demand is balanced globally.”

The report also said that JLR chief executive Ralf Speth was believed to be planning to meet with cabinet member Michael Gove, to discuss Brexit. Mr Speth warned earlier this month that potential disruption from a no-deal Brexit may be unavoidable.

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