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Jaguar Land Rover factory shutdown begins after vehicle sales slump

Jaguar Land Rover has begun a planned two-week shutdown of its Solihull manufacturing plant, following a slump in demand for its cars.

The closure, which was announced earlier this month, comes as the firm reported September sales of 57,114 vehicles – a 12.3 per cent drop year-on-year.

Despite the closure, jobs are not believed to be under threat at the plant, with employees to be paid during the shutdown, and customer orders are expected to be completed as planned.

Following the announcement of the closure, a JLR spokesperson said: “As part of the company’s continued strategy for profitable growth, Jaguar Land Rover is focused on achieving operational efficiencies and will align supply to reflect fluctuating demand globally as required.

“The decision to introduce a two-week shutdown period later this month at Solihull is one example of actions we are taking to achieve this. Customer orders in the system will not be impacted and employees affected will be paid for the duration of the shutdown.”

The shutdown follows plans to move all production of the Land Rover Discovery from Solihull early in 2019 to a new £1bn plant in Nitra, Slovakia, owned by JLR’s parent company, Tata Motors. The site had previously been used to complement production of the SUV in the West Midlands.