Jaguar Land Rover to close one of its plants

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 26, 2010

Jaguar Land Rover's revised business plan includes an idea to close one of its plants in the West Midlands by the middle of the next decade. It's still a toss-off between the Castle Bromwich plant in Birmingham or its Solihull plant.

The decision will be made in the year or so. However, the company is stating for a fact that there would be no net job losses due to an agreement between unions and parent company Tata.

In fact, about 800 new jobs will be created next year at JLR's Halewood plant on Merseyside, where production of the new Range Rover LRX will begin. Currently, JLR employs around 5,000 workers in Solihull , 2,000 in Castle Bromwich and 1,800 at Halewood.

A Land Rover spokeswoman said the existing plant would be expanded to accommodate the two workforces. The plan works under the design to "increase the firm's competitiveness, drive growth and sustain profitability."

David Smith, JLR chief executive, said that the plan came about due to the impact of the economic collapse and due to the "opportunities that lie ahead for these two great brands."

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said he welcomes Tata's commitment to the workforce employed by Jaguar Land Rover in the West Midlands and Merseyside.

On the other hand, Bert Hill, regional officer at the GMB union, expressed his concerns on the plans and asserted that the union would be opposing JLR's decision.

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