JCB has stoped production at all of its UK manufacturing plants, citing an unprecedented reduction in global demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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.
JCB said that no decision has yet been taken on what happens from the week commencing Monday 30 March and beyond.
JCB chief executive Graeme Macdonald 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.”
JCB did say that its plant in Pudong, near Shanghai, ceased production in February as the impact of the pandemic initially took hold. After several weeks of disruption, the factory is now fully operational again.