Jaguar Land Rover to retain three UK manufacturing sites

Doom and gloom. Two words that readily spring to mind when the British Motor Industry has news to impart. Today is different however, Jaguar Land Rover (‘JLR’) have been weathering the recession curiously well under the custodianship of Tata, its Indian parent. Following the unveiling of the ground-breaking Jaguar C-X75 and the near-as-damn-it production ready Range Rover Evoque at the recent Paris show, there has been much to be optimistic about for British car manufacturing. 

The Range Rover Evoque looks set to be built at Halewood, Merseyside creating 1500 jobs.

JLR announced today that following an intensive strategic review of the future plans for the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, including consultation with trade unions, they had reached “a landmark pay and conditions settlement”. Perhaps more momentous is the revelation that JLR will be retaining a three-plant manufacturing strategy – it had been long expected since the Tata acquisition, that JLR would lose one of their Midlands sites within 10 years – based at Castle Bromwich and Solihull. Not so – both plants live on and will play a central role in fulfilling the JLR strategy.

Future expansion plans look exciting, with a multi-billion pound investment fuelling growth in product ranges and global volumes, allied to the creation of thousands of jobs in the UK. A recruitment drive has already begun at Halewood, Merseyside in preparation for production of the new baby Range Rover, the Evoque.

“This is a triumph for all concerned,” said Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ralf Speth. “We have ambitious plans for growth and the success of our products around the world and this agreement will allow us to accelerate and realize those plans.”

What a refreshing change, to know that these two precious British brands appear to not only be in safe hands, but thriving under foreign ownership. There were many sharp intakes of breath when Tata were revealed as the new owners of Jaguar Land Rover, but both marques are being given the time and investment they deserve, meaning todays news should bring a collective sigh of relief from brand loyalists, JLR employees and industry commentators alike.

The full press release follows.

 

 

Jaguar Land Rover and Trade Unions Reach Landmark Deal

 

  • Ambitious plans for new models and volume growth
  • Multi-billion pound investment in the Jaguar Land Rover business
  • Three manufacturing plants retained in the UK
  • Thousands of new jobs in next decade – including more than 1500 in Liverpool in 2011

 

Following an intensive study to determine the future Jaguar Land Rover strategy for both brands and a period of negotiation with trade unions representing its workforce, Jaguar Land Rover is pleased to confirm that a landmark pay and conditions settlement has been reached. 

The agreement, which trade unions representing the Jaguar Land Rover workforce will unanimously recommend to their members, sees Jaguar Land Rover revising its plans to consolidate manufacturing operations. Subject to employees endorsing this deal over the next few weeks, Jaguar Land Rover will now retain three plants in the UK – at Castle Bromwich, Solihull and Halewood – building Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles. This will lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs in Britain over the next decade as Jaguar Land Rover invests billions of pounds in the UK and significantly increases both the number of models in its range as well as overall global volumes.

“This is a triumph for all concerned,” said Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ralf Speth. “We have ambitious plans for growth and the success of our products around the world and this agreement will allow us to accelerate and realize those plans.

“The agreement is a great deal for our workers and the company and we can now really get on with working together to achieve an even more exciting future for the Jaguar and Land Rover brands,” added Dr Speth. “We have already started by

beginning to hire 1500 new employees to support the launch of the new Range Rover Evoque at our award-winning Halewood factory in Liverpool.
“Our parent company Tata supported us through the recession and our employees also made sacrifices but now we are seeing a great turnaround in the business and everyone involved – our employees; our customers and our Tata shareholders – will benefit from this agreement. This is truly the beginning of a new era for Jaguar Land Rover.”

The terms of the agreement include a pay rise of 5% for employees in November this year with a further rise of at least 3% next November. New hires in the manufacturing plants will come in on lower rates of pay and receive lower shift premiums, increasing flexibility. Existing employees are unaffected. There will also be an extension of performance related pay for salaried employees.

ends…

By Tim Kendall
15th October 2010

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