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Coronavirus Forces Jaguar Land Rover to Ship Parts in Suitcases to the UK

Hans India 2020-02-19 14:21:38

Due to coronavirus Jaguar Land Rover parts flown in parts in suitcases take a toll on the carmaker's supply chain. It said it could start to fall short of Chinese parts for its UK factories after two weeks.

The coronavirus has taken the lives of around 1,800 people in China, causing a shutdown that has seen factories closure in the country. That global supply chain is getting effected.

JLR is the UK's leading carmaker with three factories across the country that make around 400,000 vehicles per year. Ralf Speth, the firm's boss, said those factories are running out of parts.

Mr Speth said at an event in Coventry, "We are safe for this week, and we are safe for next week and in the third week we have ... parts missing. We have flown parts in suitcases from China to the UK."

Guenter Butschek, Tata Motors boss, which owns JLR, echoed the words of Mr Speth. He said, "We are safe for the month of February and for a good part of March. Are we fully covered at this point of time for the full month of March? "Unfortunately... not."

This week many car firms expected to restart operations in China. Even those firms that have re-opened in some locations have cautioned it may take longer than expected to return to full capacity.

Last week Fiat Chrysler announced it would shut a Serbia plant due to missing parts from the country; US labour union officials also said due to shortages they fear production breaks at firms like General Motors.

JLR said in a statement its direct supply chain is "primarily European and in the UK, with a small percentage in China". The coronavirus may affect us in the medium term; we are working with our suppliers to minimise any potential impact."

Production is not the only area of the firm's operations which is affected by the outburst.

Mr Speth also cautioned sales in China - which had been crucial to the firm's recent recovery - have "completely stopped". He said, "its zero, you don't know whether the economy will catch up or whether this kind of loss is just a loss."