JLR close lines after job cull

Posted on 20 Jan 2009 by The Manufacturer

Following last week’s news that it is to make 450 staff redundant, Jaguar Land Rover began a two-week production shutdown at one of its plants yesterday.

The Jaguar plant in Castle Bromwich where 2,000 people work is closing for a fortnight due to poor demand, the firm said. During this time the company will bring in changes to get the factory ready for new models due to be unveiled this month.

Tom Woodley, joint general secretary for the union Unite called on government to focus more of its efforts on helping out manufacturers. There has been criticisms recently that too much of the government’s support is aimed at supporting City workers and not enough is being done to aid engineering.

“Until we hear from government that they are getting behind our manufacturers with a strategic plan to retain skills and capacity through this downturn, then I fear no car industry job is safe.”

Paul Everitt of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders added: “Time is pressing. There have been positive comments over the last week from [business secretary] Lord Mandelson and the prime minister, but pressure on the industry is mounting.”

There was 30 per cent less new Land Rovers registered last year compared with 2007 though registrations of new Jaguars rose by nearly 9 per cent, according to figures released recently by the SMMT.