Jaguar Land Rover was forced to shut down auto production at one of its key factories for a week due to a global shortage of computer chips.
Assembly line workers will return to JLR’s Halewood factory in Merseyside on Monday after a week without vehicle production. The factory manufactures the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque models, although it has experienced supply issues throughout the year.
All of the major automakers around the world have recognized the effects of the shortage of chips, also known as semiconductors, which are used in cars to control everything from batteries to windshield wipers.
French automaker Renault said on Friday it would cut production by 500,000 cars this year, double its previous forecast. Renault CFO Clotlide Delbos has warned that chip supply will remain limited for much of 2022, Reuters reported.
The top U.S. Volkswagen executive said last week that the shortage will continue at least until the second half of next year. Ola Källenius, managing director of Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler, said last month that semiconductor shortages could last all next year and into 2023.
JLR, which is owned by India’s Tata, is focused on producing its most profitable Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models, both built in Solihull in the West Midlands, according to three sources.
Britain’s largest auto employer is believed to have cut production at Halewood and Castle Bromwich, also in the West Midlands, on several occasions over the past year, although output from the latter plant is also expected to be gradually decrease in the coming years as the automaker consolidates other operations at the site.
Metalworking for Range Rover models also continued at Halewood.
The semiconductor shortage has hit all major chip users, but the auto industry has been hit particularly hard as companies cut production early in the pandemic.
Other British car manufacturers have also struggled. Mini, owned by Germany’s BMW, had to adjust its production schedules earlier this year, although its problems have eased in recent months.
Other UK factories such as Toyota’s plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire, have been relatively spared.
A spokesperson for JLR said: “Like other automakers, we are currently experiencing supply chain disruptions from Covid-19, including the global availability of semiconductors, which is impacting our schedules. of production. As a result, we are adjusting our production schedules to reflect this.
“We continue to see strong customer demand for our line of vehicles. We work closely with relevant suppliers to resolve issues and minimize the impact on customer orders where possible. “