Motor industry leaders met with business secretary Lord Mandelson yesterday for crisis talks in London as the drive to free up government money to bolster beleaguered car makers continued.
The latest crisis talks come days after Jaguar Land Rover announced plans to lay off 850 more agency workers from its facilities in the West Midlands before the end of the year. The move halves the firm’s roster of agency staff.
“Severe trading conditions mean we have to take the unfortunate decision to release agency workers,” said Andrew Roberts, director of communications for Land Rover.
The British car maker has already encouraged 600 of its full-time staff to accept voluntary redundancy as sales slump.
UK chief executives from General Motors, Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce, Nissan, Honda, Toyota and JLR among others were all present at the talks this afternoon.
Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said the point of the hour-long crisis meeting was to tell the government: “Cash is needed now.”
Lord Mandelson had suggested that the UK motor industry should turn to the European Investment Bank for funding. Obtaining money from Europe could take months, and Everitt insisted, “Some companies do not have that long.”