Car-makers BMW and Toyota are both suspending operations at their UK plants – making them the latest in a long line of industry firms to temporarily scale back European production.
German firm BMW and Japanese company Toyota have joined the likes of Ford, Vauxhall, Nissan, Renault, Volkswagen and Ferrari in reducing output during the coronavirus pandemic.
The news leaves Honda and Jaguar Land Rover as the final car manufacturers left operating in the UK – for now, at least.
Around 8,000 workers will be affected at BMW’s various UK sites. They will continue to be paid, but will be expected to take holiday time or accrued overtime, or as overtime advances which they effectively pay back when operations resume.
BMW said: “Due to the rapidly evolving coronavirus pandemic we have taken the difficult decision to cease production at our production sites at Oxford and Swindon as of Monday next week (March 23) for a period of four weeks until April 17.”
Toyota is similarly closing its sites in Derbyshire and Cheshire, where collectively 3,000 people are employed. They too will be on paid leave, with the closure period initially confirmed for two weeks.
The shutdowns steam from a combination of supply chain disruption making parts difficult or impossible to come by, and falling demand as people limit work and social travel.