8th Apr, 2020

Coronavirus shutdown means car parts 'arriving in suitcases', JLR chief admits

John Carlon 18th Feb, 2020 Updated: 19th Feb, 2020

JAGUAR Land Rover is flying car parts to the UK in suitcases, its chief executive Prof Ralf Speth has admitted, as Chinese supply chain fears grip car manufacturers.

According to Reuters, Sir Ralf warned of the impact of the novel coronavirus shutting down manufacturing in China.

As he joined the Prince of Wales to open a new automotive research centre at the University of Warwick, Sir Ralf said: ““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.”

The shortage could mean production grinds to a halt at its plants at Solihull and Castle Bromwich within a fortnight, as like other manufactures, the firm relies on ‘just in time’ logistics delivering parts when needed.

He said the firm’s Chinese factory would open next week and was “safe for the very first week.”

Sales were not currently happening in China and it was unclear when they would return, he added.

Guenter Butschek, the boss of Tata Motors, JLR’s parent company said the company could not guarantee receiving parts towards the end of March.

“We are safe for the month of February and for a good part of March,” said . “Are we fully covered at this point of time for the full month of March? Unfortunately … not.”

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.

Business Directory

From plumbers, to restaurants, we can provide you with all the info you need.

Digital Advertising

Advertise on the Coventry Observer to boost your online presence.


Receive a weekly update to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter.