Will sales pick up for the UK automaker?
Once Brexit was voted on, Jaguar Land Rover almost immediately had to rethink production. The British automaker already cut back on production due to Brexit uncertainty but has now announced further plans to shut down its factory in Solihull for two weeks according to Autocar. The plant will be idle for two weeks following a sales decline in September. Workers at Jaguar's Castle Bromwich factory, which produces the XE, XF, and XJ, will also move to a three-day work week until after Christmas.
“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,” a JLR spokesperson said. “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.”
JLR has seen strong sales of models like the Range Rover Velar, Jaguar I-Pace, and Jaguar F-Pace, the brand's first SUV. Notice anything about those models? That's right, they are all SUVs. Despite the strong demand for SUVs, global sales were 57,114 in September, a 12.3% decrease compared to the same month last year.
Jaguar has been hurt by a decline in sedan and wagon sales as well as a huge dip in diesel sales. JLR will continue to invest large sums to build new electric models like the new I-Pace and rumored XJ replacement, which should help the company recover sales in the future. This shutdown seems like a temporary problem, one that shouldn't impact the company's long-term success.