Jaguar Land Rover couldn't have had much worse of a time for production to be halted for what's expected to be 70 days:
- JLR had begun booking positive results from a turnaround plan that cut costs, reduced staff and aligned production with demand.
- Brexit was finally settled.
- The company's turmoil in China was coming under control as sales started recovering.
The launch of several new high-volume and high-profit vehicles — such as the new generation of the Land Rover Defender and a heavily re-engineered and restyled Range Rover Evoque — had JLR officials confident the momentum would continue gaining traction.
The company furloughed about half of its 40,000-member U.K. work force as Britain locked down nonessential businesses to combat COVID-19. JLR closed its three production plants, its engine factory and both tech centers. Engineers, designers and executives have been working from home in an effort to keep future projects on track.