Mandelson considers £1 billion aid package for JLR
18 December 2008

The business secretary Lord Mandelson last night admitted that talks with Jaguar Land Rover about a £1 billion financial bailout are intensifying.

“I have had discussions with the owners and management of Jaguar Land Rover in particular, because they argue that they are under particular strain,” said Mandelson.

“Governments need to support the automotive industry,” JLR’s chief executive David Smith told Autocar on Wednesday evening. “A deal is needed. Dealers and suppliers are finding it very difficult.”

Mandelson said the government was analysing the situation “very carefully.” But the business secretary added that primary responsibility for JLR lies with its Indian owner Tata. He warned that the government did not have “an open chequebook.”

JLR boss Smith confirmed the British car makers had funding from Tata in place and said he was very confident about the future, despite the tough economic climate.

The British firm’s major UK automotive research and development centres underpin its pitch for government money. JLR has pledged that the centres will develop green technology for the future.

Mandelson appeared to be sympathetic to the issue, commenting: “The car sector – car manufacturing – is a centre of real excellence and competitive strength in our country”.

The final decision, however, rests with Gordon Brown who has reportedly not made his mind up.

The American, French and Swedish governments are acting to help their struggling national car manufacturers. The government is under pressure from a growing number of MPs to take decisive action on the issue.

Will Powell

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Comments
28

18 December 2008

i believe that Tata have just signed a sponsorship deal with Ferrari F1, so they must have plently of spare cash, so why should the uk tax payer have to support JLR. why not make them use their spare cash more prudently

18 December 2008

[quote Autocar]a £1 billion financial bailout [/quote]

- let's face it, sponsoring Ferrari doesn't come cheap. Makes you proud and stuff to think yer profligate Brit taxpayer has come to the rescue of impoverished Indian untouchables and purveyors of modest transport solutions to fallen on hardtimes playboys.

"It's the right thing to do for hardworking families!" Aye, pick their pockets, burden unborn generations to come with unpayable debts and trash the currency with printing. They'll build statues to your kind in the future.

One teensy problem Lord Mandelson of Handouts to Oligarchs and Saviour of the World Brown - 'state aid'. Once you do this the EU Kommissars can no longer object to Opel getting billions from Germany and the EU reconstruction bank, plus Saab, Volvo, Renault, PSA, Fiat.... Then you're back to square one, price-cutting and a race to the bottom in a subsidies distorted market. And to think this clown and his ilk have the cheek to impose fines on makers for CO2 nonsense and then wreck the market massively with this.

18 December 2008

Hang on a minute. Rover employed many many more people - around 30,000 in the factory alone, never mind all the suppliers, distributors and dealers. This didnt seem to bother the government as when BMW warned them that they needed government support to survive they refused. Cant remember exactly how much they asked for but it was a fraction of the amount being mentioned for JLR.

Even when BMW put Rover up for sale the government allowed them to go to a bunch of asset stripping 'directors'. Then, when they declared bankruptcy, one minister even suggested that workers could find jobs elsewhere... such as Tesco!?!

Why didnt the government step in when Ford put JLR up for sale in the first place? Rather then allowing them to be sold to the Indians. Now, we are supposed to happily hand over 1 billion to a private company, to no doubt help prop up their share value and directors bonuses. If they really wanted to help they should have just re-nationalised JLR when they had the chance.

Anyone else wonder how much the looming election is playing a part in Gordon Browns decisions?

18 December 2008

Well said all, this whole thing stinks.

The govt may as well bailout Toyota/Honda/Nissan as they are as British as Jaguar.

18 December 2008

[quote Quattro369]Then, when they declared bankruptcy, one minister even suggested that workers could find jobs elsewhere... such as Tesco!?![/quote]

- Margaret Hodge. Or Enver Hodge as she was called in Islington.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Hodge

Better to be a supermarket shelf stacker than someone who presided over the extremely unsavoury goings on in Islington council - see above.

[quote Quattro369]Anyone else wonder how much the looming election is playing a part in Gordon Browns decisions?[/quote]

- key. The UK economy is in collapse. Vehicle production is down at least 30% year on year; govt. borrowing, figures out today: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=206 is out of control, £16bn in November alone. Revenues are collapsing and expenditure soaring. The only way to square the circle is printing, or 'quantitative easing' as the £1,000/day economics 'experts' like to call it euphemistically.

The fact is Mandelson and his mates know the game's up. The task is to get elected before it becomes obvious to even BBC/Sky watchers. No matter what it costs money will be chucked around to stave off embarrassing collapses(Woolworths was too obviously bust), especially if there's a foreign owner involved. It's all funny money now anyway, a billion here a billion there. The UK's headed for total currency collapse with hyperinflation in the prices of everyday necessities.

18 December 2008

As somebody pointed out above, Rover Group was broken up and sold off by BMW partly because the state aid it wanted for Longbridge had not been cleared by the EU. If I remember rightly, BMW wanted around £200-250m, which would have completely re-built the main Longbridge works, allowing them to install the Rover R30 compact hatch. (Which, from the bulkhead back, later became the BMW 1-series). The EU aid was quite controversial and Porsche (egged on by VW boss Piech) put in an official objection to the EU. I can't say that the government - and particularly the industry minister Byers - were not very on the ball, either. Discussions about the aid dragged on for over a year. Then they said the decision to sell Rover Group was a surprise. Which is odd, when it was reported in car magazines a month earlier. Also, in the year up to April 2000, Rover Group lost around £750m. But then it was being charged for the development costs of the Range Rover 3 and the Mini, as well as facing collapsing sales...

18 December 2008

Impressive Hilton. So much gets forgotten so quickly.

Nine years on and so much has changed. JLR are going to get the billion and whatever else, we all know it. In 1999/2000 Labour were ensconced on a 100+ seat majority with no credible prospect of election loss in 2001/2. Bribing the key Midlands marginals with a mega bailout was not pressing, to be assured of continued power. Even the Blair/Brown/Hewitt play-act around the Rover collapse in 2005 pails against the crucial need to prop up JLR with its 16,000 direct workers before calling an election next February. That's what this is all about. The 'state-aid' objection will be kicked into touch by 'extraordinary circumstances'. The pliant citizenry will be lead by the nose by the broadcasters into seeing the inevitability of it and the sense of racking up even more debt to be paid with interest in order to safeguard jobs for hard-pressed workng families and spending money now to kick-start the British economy. Let's not forget also that Mr Ratan Tata has been less visibly lobbying for/demanding UK handouts for his steel business. Tata Steel owns the Anglo-Dutch Corus company. Tata wants the UK taxpayer to pay for his steel workers to idle, due to no demand for steel, rather than he. Again another scheme to avoid the news headlines being filled by thousands of redundancies in a key industry in the run up to an election, with the bill to be footed by the ordinary taxpayers. Where will this all end?

ZM

18 December 2008

Speaking as someone who is at the end of his tether due to major faults on a 99 S-Type, I would'nt give two shakes of s#"t if Jaguar were allowed to die. Oh and I just saw an XF broken down as well.

As we say in the motor trade: 'German or Jap; the Rest is Crap!'

Rant Over!!

18 December 2008

Just a further, quick, rather obvious point on this billion pound bailout. For weeks and months we've been hearing about the will they/won't they, on/off mega bailout of the Big Three in America, which has now boiled down to an about $14bn strict loan to GM.

The Big Three heads have been summoned to Capitol Hill and been put through the mill over their requests and plans for change. The upshot is still unclear with the Senate having voted against. Contrast this with the cockpit of democracy Great Britain. If we go on bailout loan/subsidy per unit of output, the £1bn or $1.5bn bailout is worth to JLR five times more than the $15bn loan to GM, on the basis of 200,000 units produced by JLR at most annually and around 10 million at GM currently. Or in plain numbers that's £5,000 per vehicle of output for the next year for JLR against $1,500 for GM. Now why is it that we are told the decision on this is to be made by an unelected, twice disgraced person without any reference to a democratic body or oversight committee, as in the US, especially as the proportionate sum is five times the size of the contested GM aid? What is going on in the UK with use of public funds and the allocation of? Is this a democracy any more or an oligarchy/kleptocracy?

18 December 2008

I’m with the guy above but regarding a Land Rover Discovery 3, I am so fed up with the car and poor customer service I have made up a website www.landroverhell.com to put my points across, I have no symphony for the company particularly as they have shown little interest in my case and their attitude toward me is appalling, let TATA bail them out they can afford it, remember Land Rover is now an Indian owned company, so if Land Rover are bailed out perhaps they can help Honda too, then they might save their F1 programme!

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