JAGUAR Land Rover (JLR) has confirmed it will shut down its Solihull factory for a fortnight later this month, as the car maker’s global sales continue to fall.
According to an official statement, JLR’s West Midlands plant (which produces the Jaguar F-Pace and Land Rover’s Range Rover models) will be shut down for two weeks from October 22.
The company said: “As part of the company’s continued strategy for profitable growth, Jaguar Land Rover is focused on achieving operational efficiencies and will align supply to reflect fluctuating demand globally as required.”
It went on to say: “The decision to introduce a two-week shutdown period later this month at Solihull is one example of actions we are taking to achieve this. Customer orders in the system will not be impacted and employees affected will be paid for the duration of the shutdown.”
JLR’s Solihull shutdown notice comes as the car maker announces its global retail sales figures for September. A total of 57,114 Jaguar and Land Rover models were sold to buyers across the world last month, which is a 12.3% reduction over the same period last year.
September’s sharp fall continues a pattern of continued sales decline for the car maker, with year-to-date sales of 448,106 cars being 4% lower than what they were in the first three-quarters of 2017.
Not all of this drop is being pinned on reduced consumer demand, however. A portion of the 4.7% reduction in European sales is being blamed on the new car sales disruption in September, as car makers were adjusting to new emissions test rules that came into force across the European Union at the start of the month.
Responding to the shutdown notice, Unite the Union revealed it would be “working closely” with Jaguar Land Rover during this time, as well as confirming it would “press JLR on commitments for future models to be made in the UK”.