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Jaguar Land Rover warns of global coronavirus impact

Jaguar Land Rover expects the global coronavirus outbreak to affect its fourth-quarter financial performance and says its supply chains outside China are now likely to be affected.

The British company – which operates factories in Slovakia and India alongside its sizeable Chinese operation – told Bloomberg it's too early to accurately predict the financial impact of the virus but it's expecting component supply shortages to affect global vehicle production volumes. 

The news comes as the firm gears up to put the new Land Rover Defender into full-scale production at its factory in Nitra, Slovakia, which employs 2800 workers and has an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles. 

The announcement follows a wave of factory shutdowns in Asia, following the detection of the coronavirus in China’s Wuhan province. The PSA Group’s Chinese partner Dongfeng was first to close its main production facility, while Hyundai was forced to shut its South Korean factories last week due to a shortage of critical wiring harnesses produced in China.

Bloomberg reports that JLR parent company Tata has extended a shutdown at the Chery Jaguar Land Rover factory in Changsu, which builds the Range Rover Evoque, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Jaguar E-Pace for the Chinese market. China-only long-wheelbase versions of Jaguar's XE and XF saloons are also built at the plant. 

Nissan is the latest manufacturer to react to the coronavirus outbreak, temporarily closing one of its Japanese factories that depends heavily on parts imported from China. It expects the facility to be operational again within two days, however, and has stated that its other factories in Japan are unaffected. 

Many Chinese factories that had shut down were expected to reopen yesterday (10 February) as the officially extended Chinese New Year break came to an end, but many remain restricted by local legislation and a labour shortage.