Only a couple of months ago, JLR boss Thierry Bolloré said the business had avoided the global shortage in semiconductors. Sadly that turned out to be premature.
Supply chain hold-ups have forced production to be suspended from today at Jaguar Land Rover’s factories at Castle Bromwich (which builds Jaguars only) and Halewood (which builds Discovery Sports and Range Rover Evoques).
The shortage is a symptom of Covid, and has affected car makers worldwide. Plummeting vehicle sales forced manufacturers to cancel orders last year, sending them to the back of the queue while booming electronics products (such as laptops, phones and tablets for home working) hoovered up supply. Now car makers need stock again, but microchip suppliers are flooded with orders. In Taiwan, the world’s second biggest producer of semiconductors, $100bn is being invested over three years to boost supply.
In the meantime, Peugeot 308s will temporarily be made with analogue speedometers!
Initial expectations are that Halewood and Castle Bromwich production lines will start moving again after a week. Land Rover production at Solihull, Nitra and elsewhere is believed to be unaffected.