Jaguar to recruit 530 more staff
By Jonathan Davis,
Jaguar the former BL subsidiary which was privatized earlier this month, is taking on 530 new workers in the Midlands and introducing a night shift at its main assembly plant in order to meet the surging demand for its cars. The company said yesterday that its aim was to boost annual production from the present capacity of 32,000 cars a year to more than 36,000.
Three years ago, Jaguar was selling fewer than 14,000 cars a year. Mr John Egan, chief executive and managing director, said ”By increasing production we can take advantage of our overwhelming sales demand, especially in Germany and the US. Sales of Jaguars in Germany are 65 per cent up on the corresponding period last year, while American demand is 16 per cent up.”
“Although a high percentage of the vacancies are for skilled people, we do not expect to have any difficulty in attracting a big enough response”, a Jaguar spokesman said.
The company expects to take on 320 new workers at its main Browns Lane, Coventry, plant, 160 at its Radford engine and axle plant, also in Coventry; and 50 at its Castle Bromwich factory in Birmingham. Apart from assembly workers, Jaguar is looking for skilled machinists, trimmers and woodworkers. The night shift is being introduced on one of the two saloon tracks at the Browns Lane plant. The other two plants already operate a night shift.
The recruiting drive is expected to be completed by the end of next month. Although demand for the cars has been outstripping what the company can produce for some time, Jaguar has delayed increasing production or taking on more workers until it could be sure of guaranteeing them secure employment for at least two to three years.
Jaguar’s shares caused a stampede on the stock market when they were sold off at the beginning of August. The company made a profit of £50m last year, and the rising demand means it is on target to make at least £75m this year, according to City analysts. Jaguar employs about 9,500 people at the moment.