JAGUAR Land Rover has maintained its production line shutdown for another week despite the Prime Minister encouraging manufacturers to bring back their staff.
In an address to the nation last night (May 10), Boris Johnson said people who cannot work from home “should be actively encourage to go back to work.”
But JLR is set to continue with its shutdown plan until at least May 18, the company confirmed today.
A spokeswoman for the car manufacturer said: “Jaguar Land Rover plans to gradually resume production from 18th May, starting with manufacturing plants in Solihull in the UK as well as in Slovakia and Austria.
“In China, we are beginning to see recovery in vehicle sales and customers are returning to our showrooms. Our joint venture plant in Changshu has been in operation since the middle of February.
“As countries are relaxing distancing guidelines and retailers are reopening around the world, the restart of production at our other plants will be confirmed in due course.
“The health and wellbeing of our employees is our first priority. We are developing robust protocol and guidelines to support a safe return to work. We will adopt strict social distancing measures across our business and are currently evaluating a number of different measures to ensure we protect and reassure our workforce when they begin to return to work.
“We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and follow the guidance of all relevant authorities in the markets in which we operate.
“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.”
According to accountancy firm KPMG, the West Midlands’ reliance on motor manufacturing will make it one of the hardest hit regions by the coronavirus pandemic.
The closure of JLR and its regional suppliers could contract the local economy by ten per cent.
Yael Selfin, KPMG’s chief economist, said: “Our analysis highlights how the government’s ambition to ‘level up’ the UK will face a setback as a result of the pandemic. We expect that the gap between performance in London and the rest of the UK will widen this year.”