Jaguar Land Rover plans two-week closure as demand falls

Mae Love
October 9, 2018

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

The plant will close for two weeks starting October 22.

"The company's sales in China declined by 46.2% during September as compared to the same month a year ago as ongoing market uncertainty resulting from import duty changes and continued trade tensions held back consumer demand", JLR said in a press release.

Sales of Jaguar brand of vehicles in September were at 19,146 units, an increase of 4.4 percent over September 2017, but Land Rover posted sales of 37,968 units in the month, down 18.8 percent, the company said.

"Customer orders in the system will not be impacted and employees affected will be paid for the duration of the shutdown".

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JLR sold 57,114 cars in September, a 12.3 per cent year on year drop, with the firm shipping nearly 20 per cent fewer Land Rovers than September 2017.

"As a business we are continuing to experience challenging conditions in some of our key markets", JLR Chief Commercial Officer Felix Brautigam said.

They also fell nearly five per cent in Europe thanks to reduced demand for diesel cars, though United Kingdom demand slipped less than one per cent.

The 10,000 workers at JLR's Solihull plant will continue to receive pay during their time off but union bosses said the shutdown would come as "deeply troubling" news for staff.

It comes weeks after the firm announced it was moving to a three-day week at Castle Bromwich, its other major production facility, citing a slump in sales of diesel-powered cars and Brexit uncertainty.

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