Aston Martin suspends UK production

25 March 2020

Aston Martin is the latest manufacturer to temporarily suspend production following the UK government’s measures to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Aston Martin said it had taken “difficult but appropriate” action that will “protect the health and safety of its workforce, its suppliers, and their families”.

The carmaker has suspended production at its UK sites from Tuesday 24 March until Monday 20 April but it will review the situation and “look to resume operations as soon as it is reasonable to do so”.

Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda CEO, said: “It is our responsibility to ensure we do all we can to support the government’s efforts in slowing the spread of Covid-19 over the coming weeks and, with the health of our amazing workforce front and centre of our minds, we have taken the tough decision to temporarily suspend operations at our sites around the UK.

“I hope and believe that our national fight against this dreadful virus will be successful and as soon as we have the ability we will, of course, return to normal operations. In the meantime, I would like to wish everyone associated with this great company good luck, and good health.” 

Earlier this month, Jaguar Land Rover, Volkswagen, BMW and Toyota suspended production in Europe.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola Company CEO James Quincey has said the firm’s supply chain is “creaking” from the strain of coronavirus. 

Quincey told CNBC: “The supply chain is creaking around the world. There are flash points when it’s getting a little harder to get ingredients through, whether it’s delays at the borders, the big changes in channel mix.”

Separately, luxury fashion brands Prada, Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga have committed to altering production lines to produce face masks for healthcare workers. 

Prada aims to make 110,000 masks and 80,000 medical overalls from its factory in Perugia by 6 April for Italian healthcare workers. Gucci has committed to producing over 1m masks and 55,000 overalls. 

High street brands including Zara and H&M have already offered to begin producing personal protective equipment such as masks and scrubs to help meet shortages.

Earlier this week, NHS Supply Chain was forced to cancel non-PPE orders in order to meet a huge demand for protective equipment for hospitals. Health secretary Matt Hancock admitted there had been “challenges” in ensuring the supply.

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