Home >Industry >Manufacturing >Jaguar Land Rover to resume production from May 18

MUMBAI : Tata Motors Ltd’s luxury car unit Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc (JLR) said in a statement on Thursday that it would gradually resume production from 18 May starting with its facilities in Solihull in the UK as well as in Slovakia and Austria.

Meanwhile, it remains unclear if the carmaker would also resume operations at its Castle Bromwich and Halewood manufacturing plants.

The company also said that it is beginning to see recovery in vehicle sales in China and customers are returning to showrooms.

“Our joint venture plant in Changshu has been in operation since the middle of February," it said on Thursday evening.

JLR has furloughed 50% of its workforce in the UK as a result of the temporary suspension of operations across its manufacturing plants amid the covid-19 pandemic.

“Given the unprecedented circumstances, we have furloughed all roles that are not critical during this temporary period of disruption. At this stage, this affects around 50% of our UK workforce," Tata Motors spokesperson said.

The company said with production temporarily suspended at its UK plants, it is utilizing the (UK) government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in an attempt to contain its fixed costs.

Under the said job retention scheme, the UK government said it would pay 80% of an employee’s salary or up to £2,500 per month, whichever is less. The move, analysts say, would provide substantial support to the companies operating in the UK in terms of reduced employee costs. The facility is being widely used by the several businesses in the UK.

“For those on furlough, we are topping up wages to protect 100% base salary during April and continue to monitor the situation," the company spokesperson said in a reply to Mint’s query.

In a recent company note, JLR had said that it employs about 40,000 people globally and support around 250,000 more through its supplier and retailer network along with other businesses. It, however, remains unclear how many UK-based employees are impacted under the said move to furlough half of its workforce.

Further, the company spokesperson added that the leadership team including JLR chief executive officer Ralf Speth has taken pay cuts.

“JLR CEO has confirmed that the he and the executive leadership team will defer salary payments for the next three months," the spokesperson said adding that Speth will take a 30% cut. While the board of management will take a 20% pay cut, the executive leadership team will see a 10% salary reduction due to the ongoing crisis.

On April 18, JLR had reported a year-on-year decline of 12% in its annual sales at 508,659 units for the last fiscal. The annual sales were dragged by the subdued performance in Q4FY2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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