Currently reading: Jaguar Land Rover pandemic recovery hit by limited saloon demand
More than 3000 workers are still on furlough as Castle Bromwich plant has yet to return to normal capacity
James Attwood, digital editor
News
3 mins read
14 October 2020

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) still has more than 3000 workers on furlough, with production of its saloons still greatly reduced at its Castle Bromwich factory, according to reports.

The Guardian reports that it has seen confidential production plans confirming the British manufacturer – which is owned by the Indian Tata conglomerate – has a substantial number of its workforce still furloughed under the UK government’s job retention scheme.

JLR was forced to suspend production due to the national lockdown in March and placed many of its workers on the furlough scheme. While most of its plants are now operating at close to pre-pandemic levels, with two production shifts, the reports suggest Castle Bromwich, where the Jaguar XE, XF and F-Type are produced, is still running at substantially reduced capacity.

The Guardian claims JLR plans to produce around 11,000 cars there in the financial year that ends in March 2021 – around 4000 F-Types, 3500 XEs and 3500 XFs. Last year, the facility produced 35,000 cars.

Fewer than 300 XEs will be produced each month for the rest of 2020, although the number is expected to increase as the updated version goes on sale. The reopening of the plant is understood to have occured as production shifted to the facelifted XE and XF model, and JLR focused on readying the new machines before scaling up production. 

While JLR has more than 3000 staff furloughed, The Guardian claims that every other UK car maker now has fewer than 80 staff on the scheme, which will conclude at the end of this month. However, Jaguar Land Rover is the UK's largest automotive car maker, with more than 30,000 staff, and at the peak of the lockdown around 20,000 of those were on furlough.

JLR said that the number currently on furlough has been reducing each week as production has ramped up and the end of the furlough scheme approaches.

The firm is planning a "small number" of job cuts – understoof to be between 100 and 200 – via a voluntary redundancy scheme at the end of the scheme, which will be aimed at management and salaried staff currently on furlough.

Other employees are set to return to work after the end of the scheme, although JLR told The Guardian that it has yet to decide if it would make use of the government’s new job support scheme, which will pay up to 22% of the salary of workers on reduced hours.

In a statement JLR said: "“As the UK Government’s furlough scheme comes to an end, Jaguar Land Rover is implementing a very small targeted voluntary redundancy programme for some management and salaried employees currently on furlough.

“This is a prudent step given the challenges facing the global automotive industry in which we compete, giving these employees the choice to consider new opportunities outside of the company having been out of the business for more than seven months.”

READ MORE

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14 October 2020

...so is this good use of tax payers money?  Are those employees still out of work due to the pandemic affecting the market, or simply that there's no demand for Jaguars products produced at the plant because, well they're a little bit crap compared to the alternatives.

Last I was told by a former colleague still working for JLR was that there's well over 12 months worth of stock of XE & XF's still sitting around unsold.

14 October 2020

They are just a business taking taking tax breaks, I have no doubt mini, honda etc used uk tax payers money.  Still could be worse just look at Alfa product range and lack of sales

14 October 2020
xxxx wrote:

They are just a business taking taking tax breaks, I have no doubt mini, honda etc used uk tax payers money.  Still could be worse just look at Alfa product range and lack of sales

 

Maybe so.  But should Jaguar still be using it as an excuse when arguably the issue lies with their product and not necessarily the current economic situation.

Argee re Alfa, although I genuinely believe both the Stelvio and Giulia are the better products compared to Jaguar.  Alfa, like Jaguar have suffered as a result of poor brand management and poorly executed products, Alfa has compounded the issue with a criminal lack of vision and investment, their products are also overpriced not only on list but also on CH rates and sales have suffered as a result.  It's a shame, cause they had or have some superb prototypes of new and exisitng models almost ready behind the scenes.  Perhaps given both companies similar heritages, model line up and relatively low volumes, they'd make a good partnership.

14 October 2020

I thought this was supposed to be previewed this month? Makes you wonder if they'll push that into next year...

14 October 2020

@Marc the same could be said of many job on the furlough scheme. 

14 October 2020
superstevie wrote:

@Marc the same could be said of many job on the furlough scheme. 

Of course, but this isn't about them.  It's about a failing UK car manufacturer that's arguably failing through gross mismanagement rather than as a consequence of the pandemic.

14 October 2020
Marc wrote:

superstevie wrote:

@Marc the same could be said of many job on the furlough scheme. 

Of course, but this isn't about them.  It's about a failing UK car manufacturer that's arguably failing through gross mismanagement rather than as a consequence of the pandemic.

14 October 2020

The figures say it all really, 4000 F-Types, a limited market sports two-seater, 3500 XE saloons a mass-market car, introduced to hoover up private and company sales. 

The XE must die soon and the XF be either ditched as well, or completely re-designed to renew the appeal it had 10 years ago.

The only future I see for the Jaguar brand is as a sporty badge for Land Rover engineered SUV's, or a forward looking electric car maker. I am betting on the former.

As for subsidising jobs for six months with taxpayer cash before making them redundant: Not very ethical is it? I know a lot of businesses are doing it though. That's why the furlough scheme had to end.

14 October 2020

Every time I have visited the plants all production is for customer orders or dealer orders for showrooms and demos,they would not want 12 months stock when production has been low due to the open secret that the Xe XF and F pace had a major interior upgrade ,what they should have had from the start, and new power plants.

14 October 2020

I think the issue is new company car tax. Seems to me a high percentage of small saloons were CoCars, but now they all want EVs due to tax. I do think the recent price cut might well get a good few extra private buyers into the showroom, but i think sadly the days of the ICE powered small saloon have passed. If JLR want their fleet buyers back they need an EV that is MUCH cheaper than the Ipace

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