Archive : £6.5m investment in new Jaguars

The Jaguar XJ6 is unveiled
By GEOFFREY CHARLES Motoring Correspondent

Four-and-a-half-years work and £6,500,000 expenditure bear fruit today in a new range of cars that will focus the spotlights on Britain’s Jaguar stands at the Paris and London motor shows this autumn. Unquestionably the most re- fined, safest and advanced saloons ever produced by Sir William Lyons’s Coventry factory, these are the long-awaited XJ6 models, strikingly styled on traditional Jaguar lines and the spearhead of a new series aimed to recapture a market being relentlessly exploited by Mercedes-Benz in Europe and the United States…

…Jaguar make no secret of their intention, within the next two years, to introduce new and additional power units (I understand that V8s and V12s are under development) into the range. The XJ6 has been designed from the outset to accept them and further XJ models featuring the new engines will appear in due course, though not for at least 12 months.

Car Men Go Slow In Bid To Save Jobs
By Paul Connew and Brian Mortin-Smith

Car workers started a a go-slow yesterday in a bid to stop the threat of lay-offs. The 400 men slowed down their work on Austin Mini production lines at the British Leyland plant at Longbridge, Birmingham. There, thousands of workers may be thrown out of work by the components strikes crippling the motor industry.

The ‘go-slow’ men were trying to prevent production being stopped by the drying-up of component supplies. They feared that stocks would run out soon, forcing the plant’s bosses to lay them off.

The British Leyland management claimed that the men’s fears were unfounded. A spokesman said: ‘At the moment production can continue normally.’

But the go-slow quickly brought the threat of lay-offs—for the men’s workmates. The management put hundreds of other workers on two hours’ notice of being laid off. Last night a management spokesman said that because the 400 men were refusing to work at their normal speed there was a real threat of layoffs today.

At the Pressed Steel Fisher plant at Swindon, Wilts, the management consulted pest control experts on how to get rid of the pigeons whose ‘ bombing ‘ caused a walk-out on Monday.

Sir Donald Stokes, chief executive of British Leyland, said yesterday that the company’s sales were running at the rate of £900,000,000 a year. He added: ‘If it were not for strikes over such things as pigeon droppings, we might have gone up to our present target of £1,000,000,000.’

Mrs Barbara Castle’s summit conference on the car industry’s labour problems will be held today as planned. The meeting of management and union leaders is to go on despite the absence of the leaders of the most powerful car union. On Tuesday, in a massive snub to Mrs Castle, the chiefs of the Amalgamated Union of Engineering and Foundry Workers rejected her invitation to the talks. Although angered by the rejection, Mrs Castle, the Minister of Employment and Productivity, is determined to get the talks started without delay in view of the appalling toll of disputes in the industry.

But officials in her department admitted that there was virtually no chance of any real progress being made in the absence of the AEF. Statistics published by the department yesterday showed a huge rise in the number of working day’s lost because of stoppages in the motor industry. Between January and August, 678,000 working days were lost in the motor and cycle industry—more than twice as many as in the same period last year.

Keith Adams

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