Tata’s Jaguar Land Rover plant to close for a week

September 26th, 2008 - 6:21 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 26 (IANS) A Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover plant in Britain is to close for a week, apparently in response to the general economic downturn.There will be no production Oct 27-31 at the Halewood plant in the central English city of Liverpool, the company said.

It said it would use the time to “evaluate production in line with the market downturn”.

“We’re taking prudent action to continue matching production to demand,” a Jaguar Land Rover spokesperson said, adding that staff at the plant would continue to go to work and get paid.

Falling demand for vehicles has already led to a several non-production days at Halewood, which employs 2,000 workers, and two other plants - Castle Bromwich and Solihull - according to the British media.

“This is half-term holiday week and, traditionally, this has always been a week when production ceased at Castle Bromwich and Solihull, although not at Halewood.

“The halt in production is to try to match production to demand,” the spokesperson said.

The trade magazine Autocar reported recently Jaguar Land Rover was likely to reduce production at the Castle Bromwich assembly plant by the end of September.

It quoted a company spokesperson as saying the “final decisions have yet to be made, but it’s likely production of (Jaguar models) XJ and XK will be reduced, primarily in response to global demand”.

The company also confirmed, however, that Jaguar’s British sales are up over 12 percent year-to-date, thanks to the success of the new XF model.

The news about Halewood follows JLR’s announcement that it will be introducing a four-day week at Land Rover’s Solihull site and move 300 workers from Solihull to Castle Bromwich to work on the XF.

Jaguar and Land Rover were bought by Tata Motors March 26 for $2.3 billion, but the US credit crunch is reported to have led to a general slowdown in the demand for luxury cars.

However, global sales for Jaguar are reported to be strong - 39,963 cars were sold by the end of June this year compared to 55,890 cars last year.

Jaguar sold 10,925 cars in the US and Canada in the first half of 2008, compared with a total of 13,994 for the whole of 2007. Land Rover has sold 16,505 cars in North America in the same period, compared with 56,069 for 2007.

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