Car giant Jaguar Land Rover is to suspend production at its UK plants because of the coronavirus crisis.

The company said production will be temporarily halted over the course of next week, with the intention to resume on April 20, subject to review of the “rapidly-changing circumstances.”

A company statement said: “As a responsible business, Jaguar Land Rover is operating in line with advice from the NHS and Public Health England to minimise the spread of the coronavirus, while implementing plans to safeguard its business continuity.

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“The company will work towards an orderly return to production once conditions permit.

“Currently, Jaguar Land Rover’s manufacturing plants in Brazil and India continue operating. The company’s joint venture plant in China reopened in the week of 24 February, as life begins to get back to normal in the country.

“Although the company’s focus must be on its business and responsibilities to employees, Jaguar Land Rover is doing whatever it can to support its communities through the current situation.

“The company’s thoughts are with those directly affected by Covid-19 and with the healthcare professionals whose role in combating this virus is appreciated by all.”

The firm has plants across the UK, including Castle Bromwich, Solihull and Halewood.

Other firms including BMW, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Vauxhall have already halted production in the UK.

Unite national officer Des Quinn said: “Our members will continue working to deliver customers’ cars until the company brings production to a controlled stop due to the multiple factors caused by the current critical condition the country is contending with.”

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