Jaguar Land Rover to shut UK plant for two weeks as Chinese sales slump

October 8, 2018 17:09 CET

LONDON — Jaguar Land Rover will close its plant in Solihull, England, for two weeks after the company reported a nearly 50 percent fall in sales to China as import duties and a trade war with the U.S. hurt demand.

China’s automobile sales have been falling in recent months, with a slowing economy and trade frictions making consumers cautious about spending, an industry body said last month.

“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 spokesman said in a statement.

The plant will close for two weeks starting Oct. 22. The Unite union said no jobs would be lost because hours would be banked.

Jaguar Land Rover, which built nearly one in three of Britain’s 1.67 million cars in 2017, said last month that another of its factories, Castle Bromwich, will go down to a three-day week from October until the beginning of December.

About 45 percent of the automaker’s sales are diesel models, which have been hit by clampdowns and tax rises in some countries as governments try to cut air pollution.

JLR has also warned about the impact of any Brexit-related loss of free and unfettered trade with the European Union.

The Solihull factory builds the Jaguar F-Pace, Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Velar, according to Automotive News Europe’s guide to assembly plants.

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