Car giant to close factories for a week over Brexit uncertainty

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will shut down production in all its UK plants, including Halewood on Merseyside, for a week, starting from November 4.

The manufacturing giant blamed the uncertainty of Brexit and other external factors on the decision to cease production.

The EU has set a departure date for the UK on October 31.

JLR said all of its staff will still be paid during the closure period.

A statement from the company said: “Jaguar Land Rover confirms that it will be suspending production at all UK manufacturing plants for one week commencing 4 November 2019.

“This prudent decision reflects the need to adjust production in the face of ongoing uncertainty caused by global external headwinds, including Brexit, which have impacted our sales volumes.”

Chief executive Ralf Speth said the business will shut down production to mitigate against any potential disruptions, including delays to the arrival of parts.

Dr Speth said: “I need 20 million parts a day and that means I have to make commitments to my suppliers, I have to have every and each part available and I have to have it just in time.”

Earlier this week the Sunday Times claimed that JLR plans to cut production at its Halewood plant, which employs more than 4,500 staff, by 7,000 cars a year due to weak sales.

It said the business had told its suppliers about the decision after a review amid falling global sales for the Tata-owned manufacturer, and growing uncertainty over Brexit.

Production at JLR’s Coventry and Birmingham vehicle production plants and its engine factory in Wolverhampton will also be halted from November 4.

JLR’s three car production sites built almost a third of the UK’s 1.5 million cars in 2018.

The car maker is joining BMW and Toyota in calling a shutdown to mitigate potential disruption from a no-deal Brexit.

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