British luxury carmaker, Jaguar Land Rover will shut down its Solihull plant for two weeks starting October 22 due to dwindling sales in China, the company’s largest market.
Sales in China declined by 46.2%, as ongoing market uncertainty resulting from import duty changes and continued trade tensions held back consumer demand. Also the slowing Chinese economy has seen car sales go down marginally in the country.
Back home, sales were down a modest 0.8% in the UK and 4.7% in Europe, which saw large industry declines of 20.5% in the UK and 31% in Germany primarily relating to the timing of new WLTP homologation rules as well as reduced diesel demand.
JLR is trying to achieve operational efficiency and align supply to reflect fluctuating demand globally. No jobs have been under fire due to the company’s decision.
Apart from Solihull, JLR’s other factory at Castle Bromwich witnessed a reduction in working days to three days a week starting October and continuing until December. The company believes that its operations could be further impacted in case of a bad Brexit.
“As a business we are continuing to experience challenging conditions in some of our key markets. Customer demand in China in particular has struggled to recover following changes in import tariffs in July and intensifying competition on price, while ongoing global negotiations on potential trade agreements have dampened purchase considerations. Despite this, we expect lower tariffs on UK imports to be beneficial over the full year,” said Felix Brautigam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jaguar Land Rover.