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Jaguar Land Rover confirms May restart of UK car production

A Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) production line

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will gradually resume vehicle production at its UK manufacturing plant in Solihull from May 18.

It will also resume operations at its plants in Slovakia and Austria on the same day after almost a month of inactivity prompted by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

JLR's plants have been closed since April 20. 

In China, the OEM is beginning to see recovery in vehicle sales and customers returning to showrooms, however.

JLR’s joint venture plant in Changshu, China, has been in operation since the middle of February. 

As countries are relaxing distancing guidelines and retailers are reopening around the world, the restart of production at the JLR’s other plants will be confirmed in due course, it said.

A statement issued by the company said: “The health and wellbeing of our employees is our first priority. We are developing robust protocol and guidelines to support a safe return to work. We will adopt strict social distancing measures across our business and are currently evaluating a number of different measures to ensure we protect and reassure our workforce when they begin to return to work.

“We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and follow the guidance of all relevant authorities in the markets in which we operate. 

“Jaguar Land Rover is doing whatever it can to support its communities through the current situation. The company’s thoughts are with those directly affected by COVID-19 and with the healthcare professionals, whose role in combating this virus is appreciated by all.”

VW Group announced last week that it would begin reopening plants from the end of April, as did PSA Groupe.

In the UK, Vauxhall’s Ellsemere Port plant is due to reopen in line with Groupe PSA facilities, while Nissan has started a pilot scheme at its Sunderland plant and Aston Martin is aiming to resume work on May 5.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), UK car manufacturers could produce around 200,000 fewer cars in 2020 as a result of coronavirus-prompted factory closures.

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