Britain’s biggest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover said it will go down to a three-day production week at its Castle Bromwich plant in central England just days after Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, warned about the impact of Brexit and diesel policy on manufacturing.
Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover on Monday confirmed a cut in its production schedule at the Castle Bromwich plant which manufactures Jaguar cars due to “continuing headwinds” impacting the British car industry.
The change in schedule, described as “standard business practice” by the Tata Group company, 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. In light of the continuing headwinds impacting the car industry, we are making some temporary adjustments to our production schedules at Castle Bromwich.
— JLR Corporate Statement
The company, however, reiterated that it continues to “over-proportionally invest” in new products and technologies, and is committed to its UK plants, in which it has invested more than 4 billion pounds since 2010 to “future-proof manufacturing technologies to deliver new models”.
A slump in demand for diesel cars is also having a big impact on the firm. Diesel sales have fallen this year nearly 30 percent in Britain, Europe’s second-biggest car market, mirroring similar drops in other major markets, as governments crack down on the segment in the wake of Volkswagen emissions scandal.
Conservative lawmaker and Brexit supporter Bernard Jenkin earlier on Monday accused Speth of “making it up” when asked about the automotive boss’s comments, which included a warning that it was already more attractive to build cars abroad with Brexit adding uncertainty.
While the company did not confirm the exact numbers to be affected by the change in the production schedule, an estimated 1,000 of the 2,000 workers at the Castle Bromwich plant are expected to be moved to a three-day week.
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.