Exclusive: 10,000 Jaguar Land Rovers off the road due to huge parts shortage

  • JLR admits it has run out of courtesy cars as it suffers a huge parts crisis
  • Some 10,000 cars across the country are awaiting parts from the manufacturer
  • UK car maker admits the situation is a ‘mess’ in summit with dealers earlier this month
  • One customer tells Car Dealer his vehicle has been off the road for four months

Time 2:42 pm, October 20, 2023

Jaguar Land Rover has run out of courtesy cars and its workshops are close to breaking point amidst a huge global parts shortage.

Some 10,000 cars are currently awaiting parts across the country – with 5,000 of them stuck off the road at car dealerships.

The ‘significant parts shortage’ was addressed at a summit with the dealership network, held at the British Motor Museum on October 5, where attendees were told the problem wouldn’t get any better for at least another six weeks.

At the event – details of which have been leaked to Car Dealer – UK client care director Andrew Woolliscroft admitted the issue is currently seriously impacting the car manufacturer, its dealers and its customers. 

He told attendees that between the manufacturer and its dealer partners some 5,000 UK Jaguar Land Rover customers are currently driving courtesy cars because their cars are off the road awaiting parts.

‘We’ve run out of cars to put clients into and we’ve run out of space to park the cars waiting on parts,’ he told the conference.

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

One Jaguar Land Rover franchise boss told Car Dealer the problem was ‘acute’ and that they have been trying to ‘muddle through it’, but the issue has been going on for months.

‘It’s been very challenging dealing with a lot of unhappy customers,’ said the JLR showroom boss.

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Supercar dealer boss Tom Hartley said he currently has two Land Rover Defenders off the road, both of which have been waiting for parts for four months. He said the situation was ‘disgusting’.

Customer Paul Atton, a company director from Filey, North Yorkshire, has also been waiting on a part for his 2017 Range Rover Velar for four months. 

His car has been undriveable since the front driver assistance radar failed following a small bump. 

He said: ‘I’m four months in without a car and have been stranded and left high and dry. 

‘I’ve tried every angle there was, and it’s been upsetting. You just get excuses all the time expressing they’re “sorry”, but there’s still no sign of the part.

‘It’s crazy. I bought a prestige, top-of-the-range car and have been badly let down by the availability of parts, which makes me want to move on to another car.’

Atton, 61, said he has ‘weekly phone calls’ with Land Rover who have told him it is likely to be another month to six weeks before the part is located. 

He says there are ‘at least five’ other JLR models in the same situation at the service centre where his Velar is stuck. 

Lora Lane, of Driffield, East Yorkshire, is in a similar situation with her 2017 Land Rover Discovery, which requires a new turbo. 

The head veterinary nurse, 40, told Car Dealer her Discovery has now been off the road for three weeks. 

Lane said: ‘JLR has said they’d allocated us the part, so the garage was hopeful they were getting it in soon, but the allocation has disappeared.

‘It’s a total pain for us.’

JLR’s Woolliscroft told the summit that the car manufacturer was ‘throwing everything’ at solving the issue and that the UK was the ‘number one priority ahead of any other market’ when it comes to new parts.

The problem has come as a result of the car manufacturer building a new global parts logistics centre, dubbed ‘Mercia’. This project has seen 18 warehouses condensed to a one million-square-foot site.

The car maker is also changing parts suppliers and bringing a number of legacy systems together into one – and the changes have not been smooth.

‘Mercia is a bottleneck and we have a backlog of orders,’ attendees at the summit were told by Woolliscroft.

‘We have a backlog in inbound – as of today we have 80 lorries waiting to unload. We have a backlog in packing, as those parts are unboxed and packed into the warehouse.

‘And we have a backlog outbound as those orders are picked, packed and dispatched.’

Woolliscroft admitted it was a ‘mess’ and apologised to those in attendance adding that ‘most of the time it is not that we don’t have the part, it’s just jammed in the system’. 

He added that it has been compounded by the fact the ‘team on the ground are not reaching the operational level they should be’ and that the system is ‘inefficient’.

A spokesperson for JLR told Car Dealer: ‘As we deliver our commitment to become carbon net zero across our supply chain, products, and operations by 2039, we are streamlining parts distribution from multiple locations to one global super centre. 

 ‘This transition has unfortunately caused some temporary delays to the delivery of parts to our retailers. 

‘We are working closely with our distribution partner, Unipart, to quickly resolve the issue and ensure the service returns to normal as soon as possible for our clients.’ 

Additional reporting: James Baggott

Ted Welford's avatar

Ted Welford is a motoring journalist for Car Dealer's parent company Blackball Media. He writes for a variety of motoring publications and tests the latest cars on a regular basis. He likes cleaning them too.

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