The automotive expert Prof Karel Williams of Manchester Business School said JLR might be forced to scale back its production targets.
“It’s hard to see how this can be resolved without some rationalisation of the product range and without, in a sense, abandoning any aims to go for volume,” he said. “The Chinese market is clearly a problem and in all their other markets they face increasing competition in the SUV segment. There is a business here but the size of the business, that remains to be seen.”
He said the company also had a difficult task ahead to manage the transition to electric vehicles, where it has been left behind by competitors.
“They’ve been embarrassed by the shift against diesel. That was misfortune. Whether they have the nous to survive in the transition to battery electric is an interesting question,” he said. “The Chinese will try seriously to move into electric cars and the Germans will not easily cede their position as the conquerors of the last 30 years.”