JAGUAR Land Rover is heading into a three-week shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The manufacturer’s plants in Solihull, Castle Bromwich and others around the UK will suspend work until April 20 at the earliest, JLR said.
It comes as other UK car manufactuers such as Honda and BMW have announced factory closedowns as the global economy reels in the wake of the pandemic.
In a statement, JLR said: “In light of the ongoing coronavirus situation, Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed that it will temporarily suspend production at its UK manufacturing facilities over the course of next week.
“The company’s intention is to resume in the week of 20 April, subject to review of the rapidly-changing circumstances.
“As a responsible business, Jaguar Land Rover is operating in line with advice from the NHS and Public Health England to minimise the spread of the coronavirus, whilst implementing plans to safeguard its business continuity. The company will work towards an orderly return to production once conditions permit.
“Currently, Jaguar Land Rover’s manufacturing plants in Brazil and India continue operating. The company’s joint venture plant in China reopened in the week of 24 February, as life begins to get back to normal in the country.
“Although the company’s focus must be on its business and responsibilities to employees, Jaguar Land Rover is doing whatever it can to support its communities through the current situation.
“The company’s thoughts are with those directly affected by Covid-19 and with the healthcare professionals, whose role in combating this virus is appreciated by all.”
Business lawyer Roy Botterill, at Shakespeare Martineau, said: “The global ‘supply tap’ is being switched off as a direct result of the coronavirus and Jaguar Land Rover logistics and supply networks have been unable to continue providing enough materials to sustain production.
“It’s all well and good that the Government’s action plan encourages more home-based working, but it will be nearly impossible to implement for manufacturers. With such a huge macro-economic issue, business leaders will need answers and decisive action from government.
“The Midlands is the UK centre of engineering and automotive and there is no doubt that the suspension of production will put pressure on the sector – no less due to the significant amount of local jobs that will be impacted.”