Jaguar Land Rover's UK output threatened by coronavirus-linked parts shortage

COVENTRY, England (Reuters) – Jaguar Land Rover (TAMO.NS) has enough parts from China to maintain its British production for the next two weeks but not beyond that at the moment due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, the firm’s boss said on Tuesday.

Britain’s biggest carmaker, which operates three car factories in its home market, joined major global companies such as Apple (AAPL.O) in warning of the impact of the virus on supply chains.

The rapidly spreading virus has killed nearly 1,900 in China and stricken some 72,000 people, confining millions to their homes, disrupting supply chains and delaying reopening of factories after the extended Lunar New Year holiday break.

“We are safe for this week and we are safe for next week and in the third week we have … parts missing,” said Chief Executive Ralf Speth.

“We have flown parts in suitcases from China to the UK.”

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.

The boss of Tata Motors, JLR’s parent company, speaking at the same event, said the company does not have sufficient visibility regarding parts suppliers from China.

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

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