JLR boss Adrian Mardell has said the firm has begun to resolve the parts backlog caused by delays at its new logistics hub – but has cautioned that it will take time for dealers to be able to repair all the cars affected.
The problems arose when the company formerly known as Jaguar Land Rover downsized its UK parts supply network from 18 warehouses to one ‘super centre’ run by Unipart Logistics in Leicestershire.
Last October, Car Dealer Magazine reported that 10,000 cars were off the road awaiting parts due to delays at the facility; and in November, Mardell acknowledged a backlog of around 5000 critical parts.
Speaking during JLR’s third-quarter financial results call, Mardell said that the backlog had been reduced to fewer than 2000 parts by the end of January. However, he cautioned that the situation would take some time to resolve.
“Those parts need to be put into the vehicles, so the challenge is moved towards dealer availability and capability to fix vehicles,” said Mardell. “That’s going to take a bit more time. But the original bottleneck is actually mostly through. It’s not where we want to get it, but it’s mostly through.”
Mardell added that JLR has added 1000 new courtesy vehicles to its network, “so if you don’t get your fix as quick as you want, at least you will have the option of going into a JLR product”.
He admitted that the delays have meant “too many of our customers had to go into non-brand vehicles”.
Mardell insisted that while the backlog had caused challenges, switching to the new super-centre would ultimately prove beneficial.
He added: “We’ve made good progress over the last three months, but this isn’t done. We will stay with this until we’re back and better than we originally were. Frankly, we’re doing this to improve things, not to make things worse. So we will stay with it until things are better.”