Jaguar Land Rover to shut down UK factories for a week in November to ride out no-deal Brexit storm

Finally, we’re in the Brexit month where the UK leaves the European Union. New prime minister Boris Johnson has vowed to push through with the deed whether or not a deal can be secured, and there’s a chance that come October 31, the separation will happen amid chaos and uncertainty.

The auto industry has been strongly against Brexit since day one, and are expecting to be hit hard by the divorce. Now, The Guardian reports that Jaguar Land Rover will stop production at its British factories for a week in November to mitigate potential disruption from a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking a day after Michael Gove – the minister in charge of no-deal Brexit planning – said the car industry was ready for no deal, JLR CEO Ralf Speth said his company had no choice but to stop production lines at four plants.

“We cannot think about it, we just have to do it. I need 20 million parts a day and that means I have to make commitments to my suppliers. I have to have every and each part available and I have to have it just in time,” he said at the opening of JLR’s new Advanced Product Creation Centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire.

The maker of the Evoque and its peers have constantly voiced their concerns about the impact a no-deal Brexit would have on the auto industry. In particular, they have warned of disruption to the “just-in-time” flow of car parts that’s essential to an industry that employs more than 800,000 people in the Britain. JLR employs over 40,000 people in its home country.

The JLR factory shutdown will include the company’s three car plants – at Halewood on Merseyside and Castle Bromwich and Solihull in the Midlands – which together built just under a third of UK’s 1.5 million production total last year. Its engine factory in Wolverhampton will also be affected. Toyota has said that it will halt production on November 1, and BMW will not open its Oxford plant on October 31 and November 1.

Carmakers with UK plants have already stopped production once in 2019, bringing forward planned maintenance shutdowns to coincide with the original March 29 Brexit deadline, before it got delayed. The move was intended merge disruption caused by Brexit with a period when assembly lines were stationary, limiting the cost of halting production. The big day is just around the corner now.

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