JLR to halt production for a week after Brexit

by Lawrence Allan, Autocar UK 30 Sep 2019

Jaguar Land Rover is again planning a temporary shutdown of its main UK production plants for a week after Britain’s planned departure from the European Union on 31 October.

The Financial Times quotes the JLR CEO, Sir Ralf Speth, who admitted Britain’s largest carmaker will shut its Halewood, Castle Bromwich, Solihull and Wolverhampton sites for up to eight days after the date. 

JLR is unable to reopen its sites at short notice if there's another delay to Brexit, as component ordering from suppliers requires a long lead time. JLR was forced to close its sites in April, when Brexit was originally scheduled to happen. Mini, Vauxhall, and Honda, among others, also closed during April. 

The FT claims the company imports around 20 million parts into the UK per day, meaning stockpiling isn’t realistic. “We cannot switch off and on again” said Speth. 

He was speaking at the unveiling of JLR's £500 million (Rs 4,358 crore) Advanced Product Creation Centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire. The new facility will bring together more than 13,000 staff currently spread across more than a dozen sites, streamlining development costs and timeframes for new models. 

Twenty-three of the UK and Europe’s automotive industry bodies joined forces last week to stress the “catastrophic” impact of the UK leaving the EU without a formal deal would have on the industry’s operating model, due to increased border checks and wide-reaching tariffs.