Express & Star

Coronavirus could slow down JLR production

Manufacturing at Jaguar Land Rover's UK plants could slow down because of difficulties in getting parts from China due to the coronavirus epidemic.


Chief executive Sir Ralf Speth has warned UK production risks being hit from next month because of supply chain difficulties in China.

He said the luxury car maker has enough parts to complete the manufacturing processes at its UK sites this week and next, but warned of shortfalls from March should delays to deliveries persist.

China's efforts to combat COVID-19, the medical name for the coronavirus strain, have seen factory shutdowns and movement restrictions which has hit exports of goods to customers globally.

Dr Speth has also admitted that sales of JLR vehicles in China have ground to a halt.

JLR had seen a revival in sales in months leading up to the outbreak of the virus. There was growth of close to 24 per cent in China in the October to December period.

This year's Beijing auto show, which had been planned for April, has been postponed due to the health crisis. JLR is usually a key exhibitor.

JLR recently warned that its financial performance in the first three months of this year are likely to be impacted by the coronavirus epidemic. Its parent Tata Motors has shut down the Chery JLR’s plant at Changshu in China.

Production was already to halt at two of JLR's Midlands plants on a number of days into March. Solihull and Castle Bromwich will stop making vehicles for half and full days because of a falling demand for new cars around the world.

The stoppages were not to have impacted on production at JLR's engine manufacturing centre at the i54 to the north of Wolverhampton where 1,300 are employed.