Jaguar Land Rover has announced plans to shut its Solihull factory for two weeks later this month, following a significant decline in global sales in September.
The company had already begun adjusting the output of its factories in response to market demand, with 2000 workers at the Castle Bromwich factory responsible for the Jaguar XE, XF and XJ saloons moving to a three-day working week until after the Christmas period. The Solihull plant will shut for two weeks on 22 October, with no jobs affected by the closure.
“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,” a JLR spokesperson said. “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.”
Worldwide sales of 57,114 cars in September was a 12.3% decrease compared with the same month last year, despite what JLR calls “strong” demand for new luxury models such as the Range Rover Velar and the electric Jaguar I-Pace.
The Chinese market suffered the biggest decline, at a significant 46.2% - a slip the company blames on changes in import duty and continued trade tensions holding back consumer demand. European numbers also decreased by 4.7%.
JLR’s UK sales fell by just 0.8% in September, bucking the industry-wide decline of 20.5%. Several factors can be attributed to the slump, including shrinking demand for diesel models, reduced interest in saloon cars and ongoing Brexit uncertainty.