London, Jan.20: Beleaguered car maker Jaguar has closed its Castle Bromwich plant, which employs 3,500 staff, for a fortnight just one week after the plant reopened following an extended Christmas shutdown.
Owned by India"s Tata Motors, the Telegraph quoted the company as saying that the closure was in response to the dramatic slump in demand for new cars and to prepare for construction of new models unveiled at the Detroit motor show last week.
Last week, Jaguar Land Rover axed 450 white-collar jobs, including 300 managers, in order to "help address the immediate challenges posed by the credit crunch". The company, which employs 15,000 staff in the UK, said remaining managers would not receive bonuses in 2009 or a pay rise until October at the earliest.
The company has appealed for Government help in easing liquidity issues, but an agreement is yet to be struck. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has called for "swift action" from the Government to support the industry after reporting that new car sales fell by
over 20 percent in December because of a lack of credit and confidence among consumers.
OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)