Ford subsidiary Jaguar is to temporarily suspend production of its X-type entry-level model, The Daily Telegraph said.

The British factory, in Halewood, Merseyside, near Liverpool, is likely to close for between one and three weeks next month, the newspaper said.

Jaguar corporate affairs manager David Crisp told the Daily Telegraph: “We are looking at utilising down time to redress stock levels and achieve a balance between production and stock levels. We are reviewing that on an ongoing basis and we will be telling our employees the exact amount later this week. It is likely to be somewhere between one week and three weeks.”

The “down time” will involve all 2,200 shop floor staff at the factory, which last year introduced a number of four-day weeks to slow production, the newspaper said.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Crisp said sales had been dented by global economic uncertainty and also by the lack of a diesel X-type.

He told the paper: “We are operating in a very competitive market and there is an increasing uncertainty in global markets. The situation with Iraq does not help. In European markets there has been a shift towards diesel cars, so in a sense we have not been competing on a level playing field. But we are ramping up for the diesel launch in the second half of this year and that should be a boost. We are expecting the latter part of this year to be much better than the first.”