Friday 20 March 2020 3:23 pm

Coronavirus: Jaguar Land Rover halts production at all UK plants

Britain’s largest car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover is to suspend all production at its UK production plants from next week in an effort to minimise the spread of Covid-19.

The Coventry-based automotive firm, which has plants in Solihull, Bromwich and Halewood, said manufacturing would resume on 20 April, “subject to review of the rapidly-changing circumstances.” 

A company statement said: “As a responsible business, Jaguar Land Rover is operating in line with advice from the NHS and Public Health England to minimise the spread of the coronavirus, whilst implementing plans to safeguard its business continuity.”

“The company will work towards an orderly return to production once conditions permit,” the group added. 

Jaguar Land Rover’s operations are still continuing in Brazil, India and China. 

Its factory in Changshu, China, reopened in the week of 24 February “as life begins to get back to normal in the country”, the firm said. 

But sales in China are yet to rebound as its economy recovers from the worst of the virus, which has now killed more than 10,000 people.

Jaguar Land Rover’s decision comes as BMW, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Vauxhall ceased their manufacturing operations in the UK earlier in the week. 

Bentley Motors is the latest firm to suspend its UK production line due to the pandemic. It announced today it would close its Crewe factory for four weeks.  

Car manufacturers worldwide have been forced to halt production over coronavirus travel restrictions. Travel bans have played havoc with international supply lines and consumers limit all but essential contact.  

Ford announced yesterday that it would access $15.4bn in credit lines to weather the Covid-19 crisis. It is the largest drawdown of any major corporation since the pandemic started.

CEO Jim Hackett said: “Like we did in the Great Recession, Ford is managing through the coronavirus crisis in a way that safeguards our business, our workforce, our customers and our dealers during this vital period.”