Austin Rover to recruit 600
By Clifford Webb Motoring Correspondent
Austin Rover is recruiting 600 more workers in the new year to increase production of four new models; the five door Metro. the 1.6 Rover, the Montego estate car and the Maestro van. Four hundred workers will be taken on at Longbridge, Birmingham, to increase output of Metros from 3,800 a week to 4,100 and to prepare for the launch of the 1.6 litre Rover 200. That car is a more powerful version of the 1.3 litre Rover which appeared in June and it will use an Austin Rover engine in place of the Japanese power unit. Its introduction will enable production of the mid- range Rover family to be increased from 1,200 a week to 1,600.
Two hundred workers will be taken on at Cowley, Oxfordshire, where the management has been struggling unsuccessfully to reach production targets for most of the year. The additional workers will enable Cowley to be brought into line with the much more efficient Longbridge plant. Traditional tea breaks with the assembly tracks halted are estimated to cost nearly 10 per cent of Cowley’s output. Now they will be replaced by phased tea breaks taken without stopping the tracks. A few workers at a time will be relieved by employees known as “slip men”. Many of the 200 new workers will become “slip men”.
Delays in building up production of the Montego estate at Cowley have cost the company dearly since the car was launched nearly three months ago. It is being hailed as the estate car of the year.