Press Report : Work suspended at Jaguar factory

BBC News, 19th January, 2009

Jaguar Land Rover has announced it has halted work at its car plant in Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, for two weeks. The factory assembles all the Jaguar XF, XJ and XK models, and currently employs about 3500 workers.

Workers only returned to the company’s Solihull site on Monday after an extended three-week shutdown. Last week, the firm, which has been asking for government aid, said it would cut 450 UK jobs in the UK because of the slump in car sales.

Jaguar Land Rover, which employs about 15,000 in the UK, said in November that it was facing “unprecedented trading conditions” as global sales for the whole of the car industry fell sharply. The company is currently in talks with union representatives over any further measures. The aim is to find ways of cutting costs without having to cut more jobs.

Jaguar Land Rover was bought by India’s Tata last June from Ford for £1.7bn ($2.6bn). Since then output has been cut at its three main UK manufacturing sites. At the time of the takeover, Tata chairman Ratan Tata said Jaguar and Land Rover were “two iconic British brands with worldwide growth prospects”.

Tata has also since reported falling sales at its main car business in India. Derek Simpson, joint leader of the trade union Unite, said the car industry “desperately needs to see some form of lifeline being thrown to the sector from the government”.

The list below summarises the latest position with regard to the cutbacks made here by all the OEMs with British plants:

Aston Martin: Extended Christmas shutdown and 600 redundancies
Bentley: Worked a three-day week in October and longer Christmas break
GM (Vauxhall): Extended Christmas closure and 40-day shutdown
Honda: Four-month shutdown between February and May
Jaguar Land Rover: Three-week Christmas shutdown and further temporary production cuts plus 450 redundancies
MINI: Christmas shutdown extended by 10 days. 300 agency staff let go. One week shutdown in February and two weeks in August, planned
Nissan: Two-week shutdown late last year and 1,200 redundancies
Toyota: One of the night shifts suspended
(Source: SMMT)

[Source: BBC News]

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