NEWS FROM INDUSTRY
Production of vehicles by the British Motor Corporation declined to 601,000 in the year ended July 31 from 669,000 in 1959-60. Output in 1958-59 was 486,000.
The company points out that the 10 per cent fall in overall production was incurred in spite of a rise of about 62 per cent in the production of the Mini range of vehicles. The company then states that from this it is evident that the poor winter and the lessened demand for the more expensive types of car must have had an adverse effect on earnings, “bearing in mind that the margin of profit on the smaller cars must be a good deal less than it is on the higher priced models “.
In the circumstances the company adds, it will be as well if shareholders do not place too “bullish” an interpretation on the news that the company’s total production of vehicles last year shows only a relatively moderate decrease. Indeed, if this reading of the figures is correct there is every likelihood that the directors’ warning last April that profits for the financial year were likely to be lower, will be more than justified. Looking ahead it may be as well to bear in mind that the big expansion programme which is in progress is bound to add to overheads and that some time may elapse before demand, and therefore profits, catch up with the enlarged output, says the company.
600 JAGUAR MEN TO BE SENT HOME
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
COVENTRY, AUG. 29
A strike over one man will hit exports and put 600 men out of work at the Jaguar car factory here on Thursday.
The dispute is at the Birmingham works of S.U. Carburettors. where 21 tool setters, members of the Amalgamated Engineering Union, went on strike a month ago when a member of, the Transport and General Workers’ Union was promoted to their grade.
JAGUAR MEN ON SHORT TIME
Delay in supplies
By our own Reporter
The first major effects on the Midland motor industry of the strike by 21 workers involved in an inter-union dispute at the British Motor Corporation factory of the SU Carburettor Company in Birmingham were made known last night , when it was announced that 600 workers at Jaguar Cars, Ltd., Coventry, would work only four days this week.
An official statement said that the men on the Mark 2 assembly line, would be sent home at the normal finishing time tomorrow and told not to report back until Monday morning. Another 160 workers at the test and final lines might also have to be sent home as supplies of carburettors dwindled. The threat to car production at the BMC factories in Birmingham and Oxford , and at the Rover works in Solihull , has also become graver. A spokesman for BMC said that stocks of carburettors were now ” dangerously low ” and it might be a matter of only two or three days before production was seriously affected. The possibility could not be ruled out that the effect might be felt today at Austin’s, Longbridge , if it was decided to keep a stock of carburettors in reserve rather than allow them to become completely exhausted.
A Rover company official said the factory would begin to ” feel the pinch ” today and the situation would become much worse within another 24 hours.
Production of carburettors has now ceased at SU Carburettor s where 200 employees , mostly women machinists and assembly girls, are now idle. The strike started on July 27 when 21 tool setters belonging to the AEU stopped work in protest against the promotion of a member of the Transport and General Workers Union to the position of tool setter. The Engineering Employers Federation has urged the AEU to ask its members to return to work. However , yesterday, the executive council of the union , while declining to give its official backing to the strikers , refused to order them back.