Chip Shortage Sees Land Rover ‘Pause’ Production Of Defender 4×4

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Another car maker (Jaguar Land Rover) reveals production halt at factory, as chip shortage continues to batter the automotive sector

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has become the latest car maker to pause production due to the global shortage of semiconductor chips.

The firm has halted production of its flagship 4×4 Defender, at its state-of-the-art factory in Nitra, Slovakia, Autocar reported.

This factory was scheduled to make 150,000 of the rugged 4×4 a year, and this shutdown will hurt the car maker as it already cannot keep up with demand for its highly rated Defender.

Copyright Jaguar Land Rover

Production pause

Indeed, demand for the new Defender has been so high since it went on sale that it is already subject to delivery waiting times of up to a year.

However, this waiting time is now likely to increase due to the Nitra factory shutdown, where Land Rover also makes its Discovery vehicles, which will also be impacted by the shutdown.

It should be remembered that JLR had halted the production lines at its Castle Bromwich and Halewood sites in the UK in April, which halted the production of the Jaguar XE, XF and F-Type, as well as the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque, Autocar reported.

At that time, JLR kept its Nitra and Solihull plants in operation, but now production of the Defender and Discovery has been paused.

“Like other automotive manufacturers, we’re currently experiencing some Covid-19 supply chain disruption, including the global availability of semiconductors, which is having an impact on our production schedules,” a JLR spokesman told Autocar. “As a result, we are adjusting production schedules in some of our plants to reflect this.”

“We continue to see strong customer demand for our range of vehicles,” the spokesman reportedly added. “We’re working closely with affected suppliers to resolve the issues and minimise the impact on customer orders wherever possible.”

Chip shortage

It is fair to say the chip shortage continues to impact multiple industries, but it was first felt by car makers including VW, GM, Audi, Ford, Mazda and many others.

In March General Motors confirmed it would again extend production cuts at three North American plants, and added a fourth to the list of factories hit.

That came after GM had already extended its production cuts at three North American factories.

In April French car giant Renault said it would extend the furlough for 9,000 staff, because it would have to extend the partial idling of three of its four factories in Spain until the end of September.
Global shortage

And earlier this month Japanese car maker Subaru warned it will temporarily shut its plants in July, joining dozens other car factories that have had to close due to the lack of chips.

Even firms such as Samsung, which one of the biggest chip makers in the world, have repeatedly warned the chip shortage will delay the launch of smartphone devices.

Dell, the world’s third largest personal computer vendor, has warned the ongoing silicon shortage is likely to persist for several years.

That came after Forrester Research warned it expects the chip supply issues to extend through next year and into 2023.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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