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China slump, tariffs prompt Jaguar Land Rover to idle British plant
Reuters | 2018/10/8

LONDON -- Jaguar Land Rover will close its Solihull plant in Britain for two weeks this month after posting a nearly 50 percent decline in China sales as import duties and a trade war with the United States curb demand.

China's automobile sales have been falling in recent months, with a slowing economy and trade frictions making consumers cautious about spending.

"As part of the company's continued strategy for profitable growth, Jaguar Land Rover is focused on achieving operational efficiencies and will align supply to reflect fluctuating demand globally as required," a spokesman said in a statement.

The U.K. plant will close for two weeks beginning Oct. 22. The Unite Union said no jobs would be lost as hours would be banked.

Jaguar Land Rover, which built nearly one in three of Britain's 1.67 million light vehicles in 2017, said last month that another of its factories, in Castle Bromwich, will shift to a three-day work week starting in October until the beginning of December.

About 45 percent of the automaker's sales are diesel models, which have been hit by tighter emissions rules and higher taxes in some countries as governments move to cut air pollution.

It has also warned about the impact of any Brexit-related loss of free and unfettered trade with the European Union.

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