Press Report : Six week break for Jaguar workers because of supply issue

Graeme Brown, Birmingham Post, 30th July, 2010

Dozens of Jaguar workers are enjoying a six-week summer holiday – because the luxury car maker has been too successful. The Big Cat has turned its sales performance round so dramatically in the first half of 2010 that some parts suppliers to the XF and XJ models are struggling to keep up with demand.

Workers on the lines at the Castle Bromwich factory have now agreed to take an extra four weeks holiday at 80 per cent pay rates to balance supply with demand. The sabbaticals were offered to XF and XJ workers at the Birmingham factory – and 52 employees took advantage to enjoy a six-week summer break, including the normal two-week shutdown.

A worker, who asked not to be named, said: “People have got an additional four weeks on top of the annual shutdown, with 80 per cent pay. They were looking for around 160 but they got 52. It’s all to do with supply and demand – they can’t get some components quick enough.”

A statement from Jaguar Land Rover’s Head of Media Relations, Jonathan Griffiths, said: “Both Jaguar and Land Rover are experiencing heavy demand for new vehicles with sales for the first six months of the year up 25 per cent collectively versus the same period in 2009. Balancing variations in supply to meet current and future demand is part of our everyday operational practice. Clearly the fact that demand for our vehicles is high is good news for Jaguar Land Rover and we are in discussions with a number of suppliers about increasing the volume of components that they supply to us.”

Both Jaguar and Land Rover are experiencing heavy demand for new vehicles with sales for the first six months of the year up 25 per cent collectively versus the same period in 2009… Clearly the fact that demand for our vehicles is high is good news for Jaguar Land Rover and we are in discussions with a number of suppliers about increasing the volume of components that they supply to us.” Jonathan Griffiths, Head of Media Relations, Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar recently revealed a huge 42.5 per cent surge in UK sales for the first half of 2010, with sales of the XF up by 47.6 per cent, outselling the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series. In June the new XJ outsold its main rivals in its first full month of sales, beating the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series. The sales surge at both Jaguar and Land Rover contrasts sharply with the depths of the recession in the first six months of 2009, which led to a cutback in production of 100,000 units over the period.

Unions agreed a one-year pay freeze and a four-day week for thousands of workers in return for no compulsory job losses for two years. The pay and reduced working week concessions formed the key planks of a crucial framework agreement between Unite union leaders and JLR management in a bid to save around £70 million in costs.

In September JLR announced plans to close either Land Rover at Solihull or Jaguar at Castle Bromwich, but no official announcement has yet been made. Unions poured scorn on claims by the company that the closure would not cause job losses. However, JLR’s fortunes have been transformed in the first half of 2010, with increasing demand for vehicles causing a shortfall in some component supplies.

JLR’s Jonathan Griffiths added: “This is about balancing the variation in supply and demand. At the moment, we have a shortfall in supply to meet the demand.”

[Source: Birmingham Post]

Posted in: AROnline News, Jaguar
Clive Goldthorp

About the Author:

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.

1 Comment on "Press Report : Six week break for Jaguar workers because of supply issue"

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  1. Chris Chapman says:

    This sounds a bit fishy – supply constraints are not unusual, especially if Marketing does its usual notorious trick of incorrectly predicting customer demand for new model options, but suppliers are used to Just In Time supply with minimal warehousing.

    The stopping of production for an extra four weeks could cause major/unfair disruptions to other suppliers who are not causing the apparent supply constraints. Running plants flat out with probable overtime/emergency logistics costs to meet demand and then mothballing them for a month doesn’t make much apparent sense.

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