Jaguar Land Rover has started its week long closure of its production plants today (8) amid a decline in global sales.
The Tata Motors owned firm’s four major production plants in Castle Bromwich, Solihull, and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, and Halewood in Merseyside will remain shut until Friday (12).
The four plants owned by the Indian conglomerate employ 18,500 people.
This week’s closure follows the usual Easter break, which starts from next week and ends on April 23.
The move to stall the production temporarily was agreed with employees of the Britain’s biggest car producer in January to prepare for a potential Brexit disruption, when the scheduled date for Brexit was March 29.
JLR will pay the salaries of its workers during the production shutdown. However, the employees have to make up hours in the future.
The automaker has also said Brexit without a deal would cost it over £1.2 billion in profit each year.
Britiain’s biggest automaker has already started axing 4,500 jobs globally, mainly affecting management roles in the UK.
The plant shutdowns started when the automaker announced its full year retail sales figures.
Globally, JLR sold 578,915 vehicles in 2018-19, a fall of 5.8 per cent when compared to the previous year, amid sluggish demand from China.
Retail sales of JLR vehicles in China fell 34.1 per cent reflecting weaker economic conditions.
Jaguar Land Rover chief commercial officer Felix Brautigam said: “Clearly, we were disappointed by the lower sales in China.
“However, together with our retailers we decided not to push sales ‘at any cost’ to ensure that our brands remain desirable.
“Mid-term we remain optimistic about the region, particularly as we are starting to see results of our local turnaround strategy, with retails expected to stabilise in the next few months and grow thereafter.”