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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scotty5 17 October 2020

If JLR really used those words then...

Few people want their saloons. Nothing Covid-19 or upgrades or anything else is going to change about that.

Regarding the employees, yes taking tax-payers money to keep them in a job then make them redundant when the scheme finishes is unethical, but what's the alternative - if you liad off the workers at the start of the scheme the taxpayer would also have to fork out. In the grand scheme of things, it makes little difference.

Pains me to read the typical company line tho - "to let their employees discover new opportunities outside the company". To me that's a disgusting way of describing the situation, disgusting and disrespectful - not a shed of regret. JLR are sacking them and given the current global situation, those opportunities will be far and few between. According to BBC news yesterday, ex airline pilots in Crawley have 'discovered new opportunities' as delivery van drivers.

 

Gerhard 15 October 2020

JLR needs to support leasing

JLR needs to support leasing schemes in a big way to make the XE & XF more desirable. So little advertising is going on, people across Europe just aren't so aware of Jaguar products anymore. With such volumes as currently exist, major support for sales & finance is essential if these products are to have any future beyond their current lifecycle. As for rumours of big stock in storage, they're more likely to be dealer vehicles & demos not taken up during lockdown as most production is normally customer-demand. Why do you think JLR loaned so many Land Rovers to the NHS, Red Cross and other charities during the lockdown -there was curtailed demand for these in the normal system.

The facelift & new engines for the XE/F help considerably, so JLR has to capitalise on this to shift more units.

artill 14 October 2020

I think the issue is new

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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