The slow global car sales have taken their toll on Tata Motors' overseas acquisitions as well. British automaker Land Rover, recently taken over by the Indian company, told its employees yesterday that it will scale back production in light of an economic slowdown and the credit crunch.
Land Rover employs around 5,000 people at its Solihull plant in the English Midlands.
A spokesman for Land Rover - a specialist in four-wheel-drive vehicles - declined to spell out the scale of the cutbacks in detail, besides stating that only a "small percentage" of its annual output would be affected. However, there will be no redundancies from the changes.
It was a matter of adjusting supply and demand, and averting a costly backlog of unsold vehicles, he said, in light of "very difficult" market conditions in Britain and the United States. Sales were still strong in China, Russia, Brazil, Australia, the Middle East and North Africa, he said.
From September until the end of the year, the Discovery and Land Rover Sport models will be assembled four days a week, rather than five, while night-shift production of top-end Range Rovers will be halted in October. The normal work week will be cut down to a Monday-Thursday from next month.
Formerly a part of US auto group Ford Motor Company, Land Rover was acquired in June by Tata along with the up-market Jaguar car brand, in a deal that has so far seen no layoffs.
(Also see: Tata Motors becomes new owner of Jaguar, Land Rover / Tata Motors confirms Jaguar, Land Rover deal with Ford for $2.3 billion / Jaguar and Land Rover: Tata Motors acquires a rich legacy / Tata's Jaguar XF wins 'car of the year' award)