Autocar, 19th April, 2010
Tata Motors Europe CEO Carl-Peter Forster has denied a report claiming Jaguar Land Rover was set to reverse its decision to keep one of its Midlands plants open.
The Sunday Times quoted an unnamed source saying the firm would keep open both Solihull and Castle Bromwich, despite its September 2009 business plan outlining plans to shut one by the middle of the decade.
Responding to the speculation, Forster has criticised the rumours claiming they were “untrue and serve only to create confusion”.
“In September 2009, Jaguar Land Rover announced a new business strategy that will increase global competitiveness, drive growth and sustained profitability and respond to the challenges of climate change,” said Forster in a statement.
“One of the measures outlined in the plan was the consolidation of Jaguar Land Rover’s manufacturing facilities from three plants to two, with only one of either the Castle Bromwich or Solihull plants being retained and receiving investment for new generations of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.
“Since my appointment as Group CEO of Tata Motors, I have reviewed Jaguar Land Rover’s business strategy and this consolidation, which will improve both efficiency and cost and align manufacturing capability with product plans and future volume growth, remains in Jaguar Land Rover’s plans. There has been no change in strategy.
“Jaguar Land Rover has been undertaking a study that examines which West Midlands plant will be retained. The result of this study will be announced by mid-year and the transition from two plants to one will take place through the middle of this decade.
“As previously stated, we do not envisage any redundancies or reduction in overall West Midlands employment levels.”
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