Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) CEO Adrian Mardell said the firm is "really unhappy" about delays at its new parts logistics hub in Leicestershire, which have left thousands of cars in the UK off the road.
Speaking to journalists as JLR detailed its financial performance in the previous quarter, Mardell spoke candidly about the challenges that have arisen from JLR downsizing its UK parts supply network from 18 warehouses to one 'super-centre' - the Mercia Park complex in Leicestershire.
It was first reported by Car Dealer Magazine that some 10,000 cars were off the road around the UK, with dealers unable to fit replacement parts due to delays at Mercia Park, and Autocar then revealed that dealers had been advised to use second-hand parts in a bid to clear the backlog.
Mardell confirmed to Autocar that "the level of performance in after-sales has been adversely impacted" by the hold-ups, and said coming to a resolution is a prevailing priority for the firm over the coming months.
"It was a planned transition but the transition is taking longer than we would originally have planned," he said, "and, just to be clear, that’s something that nobody wished for, and that’s something that, as an organisation with our partner we’re working with here, we obviously have responsibility for the change.”
He added that the delays are something “we do need to apologise for, as well”.
“To be very, very clear, this is something we are really unhappy about, and just like the challenges with vehicles being stolen, this is something right at the top of this organisation, and right at the top of our partner organisation [Unipart Logistics] as well."
Mardell said he is in regular communication with Unipart, because “this is right at the top of the escalation for resolving what we need to do here".
He added that, in October, for the first month since Mercia Park came online, the number of parts waiting to be shipped to dealers fell. He acknowledged reports that some 10,000 JLR cars were off the road in the UK awaiting parts, but said that figure has come down and today’s tally is less than 5000.