Toyota and JCB have stopped production at their Derbyshire plants.
Toyota said the move was in light of the acceleration of the current coronavirus pandemic in Europe and its social and economic impact.
A statement from Toyota said: “We make decisions based on the safety and security of our employees and stakeholders and in consideration of those currently dealing with this outbreak. We will continue to take action in a timely manner in this very dynamic situation. Moving forward, we will continue to base our decisions on the guidance we receive from authorities in each country and region.
“Across Europe, Toyota entities have implemented a series of measures in line with health authorities’ recommendations in support of their efforts to prevent or slow down the spread of COVID-19, such as: additional hygiene, and cleaning measures; information sharing; request to work from home for office staff; travel restrictions; elimination or postponement of non-essential events or meetings; and social distancing.
“With the acceleration of the coronavirus in various European countries or regions and the associated “lock-down” measures taken by various national and regional authorities, an uncertain short-term sales outlook and difficulties in logistics and supply chains are being felt and will increase in the next weeks.
“TME has consequently decided to organise a progressive suspension of its vehicle and engines/transmissions production plants in Europe starting on 18 March until further notice.”
This includes the firm’s plant in Burnaston.
JCB meanwhile noted it was stopping production at all of its UK manufacturing plants as disruption resulting from the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic causes an unprecedented reduction in global demand.
The company is halting production for the rest of this week and the whole of next week at its nine manufacturing plants in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham. Shop floor employees affected by the move will be paid in full during this period. No decision has yet been taken on what happens from the week commencing Monday, March 30th and beyond. Office staff will continue to work a 39-hour week, with many working from home, in support of the Government’s social distancing policy.
Graeme Macdonald, JCB CEO, 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.”