Jaguar Land Rover will close its Solihull plant in the UK for two weeks due to dwindling sales in China.
The Guardian reports that the facility will close for two weeks from October 22. The move comes shortly after Jaguar Land Rover reported a 46 per cent drop in September sales in China. The plant employs 9000 staff.
“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 company spokesperson said.
“Customer orders in the system will not be impacted and employees affected will be paid for the duration of the shutdown.”
Jaguar Land Rover said earlier this year that its sales in China were falling sharply as consumers were delaying new vehicle purchases until after the country slashed import duties on vehicles. Once these cuts were made, sales were expected to rebound. They haven’t. The British automaker suggests one of the reasons for this are the ongoing trade tensions between China and the United States.
“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,” Jaguar Land Rover chief commercial officer Felix Bräutigam said.
Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull facility is responsible for construction of Range Rovers and the Land Rover Discovery. While the company insists Brexit has nothing to do with the two-week closure, the company has been outspoken about the job losses that will come if the UK leaves the EU without an exit deal.