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A SPARE parts crisis in the UK has left about 5000 Jaguar Land Rover vehicles stuck at dealerships awaiting repair while a further 5000 are awaiting components.

The crisis has led to JLR dealers running out of loan cars for customers.

JLR’s UK client care director Andrew Woolliscroft said in a report by Car Dealer magazine last month that the issue was seriously impacting the car manufacturer, its dealers and its customers. 

He said that about 5000 UK JLR customers were driving courtesy cars because their cars are off the road awaiting parts and that “we’ve run out of cars to put clients into and we’ve run out of space to park the cars waiting on parts.”

“We’ve nearly stopped our workshops from being able to operate and it’s unacceptable.”

GoAutoNews Premium asked JLR Australia for comment and was told that the problems in the UK have not affected Australian customers and that the parts situation was “at 95 per cent-plus availability.”

The problem also has not affected JLR dealers in the US, the company said.

The supply problem has been caused by JLR combining 18 parts warehouse operations in the UK into one central complex, Mercia Park in Leicestershire, operated by its logistics partner Unipart Logistics.

Automotive Management (AM) reported that since the move to the central warehouse started in October last year “there has been a crisis in supplies of parts for Jaguar and Land Rover dealerships and authorised repairers, leading to cars being parked up awaiting parts and the JLR network ran out of loan cars for affected customers.”

JLR says the situation is improving but there is still a backlog of parts orders that are unlikely to be fully resolved until early 2024. 

JLR CEO Adrian Mardell said at JLR’s recent financial update that the move to Mercia Park was “a planned transition but the transition is taking longer than we would originally have planned.”

“To be clear, that’s something that nobody wished for, and that’s something that, as an organisation with our partner we’re working with here, we obviously have responsibility for the change.”

The company said that the situation was being tackled at the highest level of JLR and Unipart Logistics. Mr Mardell said he is in regular communication with Unipart, because “this is right at the top of the escalation for resolving what we need to do here”.

JLR has options in sourcing parts. In February 2020, at the height of the COVID pandemic, CNN Business reported that JLR was flying – rather than shipping – car parts made in China to its European factories. The move was aimed at speeding up the parts supply process. 

JLR has three vehicle assembly plants and one engine plant in the UK where it has 35,000 employees.

It also has one other European vehicle assembly plant and about 40,000 employees worldwide.

By Neil Dowling