Tata Motors' JLR extends coronavirus production pause in UK
Tata Motors owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) on Monday said it would be extending its temporary pause in production lines in the UK by a few weeks amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.
The UK's largest carmaker said it plans an "orderly return" for its plants located at Castle Bromwich, Solihull, and Halewood in the West Midlands and northern regions of England.
"Our manufacturing sites are on a controlled stop and continue to adhere to government advice," a Jaguar Land Rover statement said.
"Against the backdrop of rapidly changing circumstances, we have decided to extend this for a few more weeks. We are working on an orderly return to production as soon as conditions permit," the statement read.
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The company said it is "rigorously" following the guidance of all the relevant authorities in the countries in which it operates and will work towards a "phased" return to production as soon as conditions permit, including implementing robust screening protocols to best practice standards.
Meanwhile, JLR reported a 42 per cent fall in sales of Jaguar models between January and March, while sales of Range Rovers and Land Rovers declined 25 per cent.
The company's total 2019-20 sales were down 12 per cent at 5,08,659 vehicles, primarily as a result of the coronavirus pandemic significantly impacting sales in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year.
"(The fiscal) 2019-20 has been a year of unprecedented disruption for the automotive sector. Despite the impact of regulatory change, shifting consumer tastes, Brexit and ongoing trade tensions, sales for Jaguar and Land Rover were showing improvement until the coronavirus pandemic hit in the fourth quarter," said JLR chief commercial officer Felix Brautigam.
Despite the impact of coronavirus, the company said its retail sales of the new Range Rover Evoque were up 24.7 per cent year-on-year and sales of the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE increased 40.0 per cent.
The very first sales of the new Land Rover Defender also took place in the fourth quarter.