Tata Motors’ JLR Cuts Production Schedule In U.K.
Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover on Monday confirmed a cut in its production schedule at the Castle Bromwich plant in the West Midlands region of England due to “continuing headwinds” impacting the British automobile industry.
The change in schedule, described as “standard business practice” by the Tata Group firm, will see nearly 1,000 workers at the plant shifting from a five-day work schedule to a three-day one until Christmas this year. “As is standard business practice, Jaguar Land Rover regularly reviews its production schedules to ensure market demand is balanced globally,” JLR said in a statement.
In light of the continuing headwinds impacting the car industry, we are making some temporary adjustments to our production schedules at Castle BromwichJaguar Land Rover
The company, however, reiterated that it continues to “over-proportionally invest” in new products and technologies, and is committed to its U.K. plants, in which it has invested more than 4 billion pounds since 2010.
Jack Dromey, the local Labour MP for Erdington, blamed “Brexit chaos and the mishandling by ministers of the transition from diesel” for the move. “Brexit now threatens the jewel in the crown of British manufacturing excellence. Ministers must get it right or the future is bleak,” he said in a statement on Twitter.
The headwinds blamed by the company are quite clearly a reference to the impact of ongoing Brexit negotiations and the deal Britain is able to strike with the European Union (EU), something JLR chief executive officer Ralf Speth has repeatedly intervened over in recent weeks.
In his most recent comments earlier this month, Speth had warned that a so-called “no-deal” Brexit and lack of clarity over Britain's post-Brexit plans threatens the U.K.-based luxury carmaker's entire operational set up in the country. “Just one part missing could mean stopping production at a cost of 60 million pounds a day. That is a huge risk. We depend on free, frictionless, seamless logistics,” he had said.
At the beginning of the year, JLR had said it would cut production at its plant in Halewood, Merseyside, where it builds three of its Range Rover models. In April, it said that it would not renew the contracts for 1,000 temporary workers at its operation at Solihull in the West Midlands. In June, JLR said it would shift production of its Land Rover Discovery SUV to a new plant in Slovakia, potentially leading to some job losses in the U.K.
The British car industry is particularly concerned about Brexit because of its heavy reliance on the European supply chain and the EU’s status as Britain’s biggest car export market.