Coronavirus forcing Jaguar Land Rover to ‘ship parts in suitcases’

Jaguar Land Rover has flown in parts in suitcases as the effects of coronavirus impact the carmaker’s supply chain.

JLR’s boss has warned UK production risks being damaged from next month because of supply chain difficulties in coronavirus-hit China.

Sir Ralf Speth said the company had enough parts to complete the manufacturing processes at its UK sites this week and next but warned of shortfalls from March should delays to deliveries persist.

He told Sky News: “We have flown parts in suitcases from China to the UK.”

The virus has killed more than 1,800 people in China sparking a shutdown that has seen factories close across the country, which is having an impact on global supply chains.

Speth said: “This is an issue for the complete car automotive industry.

“We don’t know how long it will take before the supply chain comes on stream again in China,” he said, while also saying that sales of the company’s vehicles in the country had ground to a halt.

The company announced earlier this month that it would halt production on selected days over a four-week period from late February at its Castle Bromwich factory.

It said it would also stop production on some half or full days at its Solihull facility until the end of March.