JCB has announced as of today (March 18), it is stopping production at all of its UK manufacturing plants as disruption resulting from the worldwide coronavirus pandemic causes an unprecedented reduction in global demand.
This comes as the manufacturer recently ramped up production after previously slowing it down over supply chain worries as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The company is halting production for the rest of this week at its nine manufacturing plants in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham, until the week commencing March 30, at the earliest, although no decision has yet been made as to when they will reopen.
It says shop floor employees affected by the move will be paid in full during this period. Office staff will continue to work a 39-hour week, with many working from home, in support of the Government’s social distancing policy, says the manufacturer.
JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said: “These measures are unprecedented in the history of JCB but are absolutely necessary to protect the business. As we continue to deal with the health implications of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become more challenging to maintain business continuity in this volatile economic climate. JCB is a global exporter and worldwide demand for our products has dropped sharply as customers cancel orders and defer deliveries. This is not just a UK issue, it is worldwide and with countries like France, Spain and Italy going into lock-down, those key markets for construction equipment disappear overnight."
“In light of this fast-changing situation, we need to re-plan our production and, as a result, manufacturing at all UK factories will cease for the rest of this week and all of next week. This will allow us to take stock of the situation, re-plan our order book, prioritise products that are definitely required by customers, and ensure parts and components are reassigned to support the production of these products,” he says.
JCB’s plant in Pudong, near Shanghai, ceased production last month as the impact of the pandemic initially took hold. After several weeks of disruption, the company says the factory is now fully operational again.