Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) won't restart production at its Castle Bromwich factory until 10 August at the earliest, it has been confirmed.
The plant, which produces the Jaguar XE and XF sedans and the F-Type sports car, is the base for more than 2,000 JLR employees. It will also be the production site for the upcoming XJ electric saloon, which is due to be launched later this year.
JLR confirmed to Autocar UK that production at Castle Bromwich will "progressively" recommence from 10 August, subject to market conditions. However, there will be "small pockets of business-critical activity" at the site to prepare for new model introductions - likely meaning the factory is being readied for early production of the XJ.
The extended shutdown is further evidence of a dire few months for the new car market and a slow recovery ahead, with a number of British brands such as Aston Martin, Bentley and McLaren recently announcing job losses across the UK.
It will be the last major JLR production facility to open, with Chinese production recommencing back in February and about 2000 employees returning to Solihull last month. The company’s Halewood, Merseyside plant will open next week, too.
Some 38,000 people are employed by JLR across the country, but 20,000 of those have been furloughed under the UK government’s emergency scheme during the coronavirus pandemic.
While European sales of the XE and XF had been struggling to hit expectations before the pandemic, it’s a different story in China. JLR claims the bulk of global demand for Jaguar has been in China, where long-wheelbase versions of the two models are locally produced.
Separately, JLR has today agreed a secured term loan facility with Chinese lenders for 5 billion yuan (around £550 million / Rs 4,982 crore). This is the first time the company has requested a loan facility in the country.