JLR employs more than 4,000 people at Halewood and 10,000 in its four UK factories – it is considering following BMW’s lead with a temporary shutdown in April, the Sunday Times says. Tony McDonough reports
More than 4,000 workers at the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) factory in Halewood could face a spring shutdown following the UK’s departure from the EU on March 29 next year.
According to the Sunday Times, JLR is considering following the lead of BMW, which has already announced a temporal shutdown for immediately after the Brexit deadline.
BMW fears a no-deal Brexit could see the implementation of tariffs and border checks after that date, throwing its intricate supply chain operation into chaos. And, according to the media report, JLR harbours the same fears.
The Sunday Times quoted the company as saying: “We are planning for different scenarios while keeping our options open — no final decisions have been taken.”
Workers at the Halewood assemble the Ranger Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport and JLR operates three other factories across the country employing around 10,000 workers.
Earlier this month, JLR chief executive Ralf Speth told an automotive conference in Birmingham that a hard Brexit could costs thousands of jobs in the UK automotive sector.
He said: “Jobs have been shed when they should have been created. A thousand lost as a result of diesel policy. Those numbers will be counted in the tens of thousands if we do not get the right Brexit deal.”
Mr Speth warned departing the EU without a good deal in place would would put the continuation of that success in jeopardy.
Pointing out that it it was cheaper to make cars in Slovakia than it was in Britain, he added: “What decisions will we be forced to make, if Brexit means not merely that costs go up, but that we cannot physically build cars on time and on budget in the UK?
“Six months from Brexit and uncertainty means that many companies are being forced to make decisions about their businesses that will not be reversed, whatever the outcome, just to survive.”