Imminent departure of current XJ prompts JLR to reconsider shift patterns at one of its main production facilities
Felix Page Autocar writer
12 June 2019

Jaguar Land Rover’s Castle Bromwich plant could be moved to a four-day working week, according to reports.

The 2500 workers at the factory, where production of the XJ saloon is soon to end, are set to vote on the proposals, which would potentially reduce any risk of further redundancies.

The plans, which would see the plant in operation from Monday to Thursday, were detailed to workers in a document titled “The Merlin Gateway Agreement”. 

The briefing states: “We are proposing a new 37 hours a week, four-day shift pattern".

"For those employees working this pattern”, it continues, “the benefit will be more days away from work to spend how they choose while also reducing travel and childcare requirements.

"When working a shift pattern there may be times when we need to deliver extra volume or recover unplanned losses.”

The move is the latest in a series of disruptions for Castle Bromwich workers; last year it was reported that they would be moved to a three-day week, and recent uncertainty surrounding Britain’s departure from the EU prompted a four-day shutdown in April

Production of the brand’s 10-year-old flagship XJ saloon will end on 5 July, with details of its successor’s arrival date and production remaining scarce. 

Recent sales reports from Jaguar show that 651 XJ models were sold in May 2019, compared to 511 within the same period in 2018. This is almost certainly due to the imminent end of its production run, with sales expected to stay strong while dealer stocks last. 

Autocar has previously reported that Jaguar is evaluating the potential to revive the XJ as a fully electric rival to the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S. 

Our Verdict

Jaguar XJ

The Jaguar XJ is a thoroughly modern luxury saloon, and a brilliantly capable one

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Earlier this year, Jaguar Land Rover confirmed it would cut 4500 jobs from its UK workforce, as the company embarked on an ambitious drive to save costs in the wake of a £90 million loss in the third quarter of 2018.

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Jaguar to end production of current XJ saloon in July​

2019 Jaguar XJ to be reborn as high-tech electric flagship​

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16

12 June 2019

They should really be adapting the Castle Bromwich plant to make all the electrically powered cars starting with the I-Pace and the new XJ when it arrives.

D-B

12 June 2019

The loss of circa 500 XJs/month at Castle Bromwich isn't the problem, it's the loss of almost 2,000 cars/month across XE, XF and F-Type compared to May 2018 that is the problem.

12 June 2019

Yes JLR should retool Castle Brom for Electric cars. I wonder why like so many other car makers in the UK they aren’t investing in new plant and machinery???? I wonder if it’s Brexit related? 

Investment in UK car plants has dropped by 80% since the referendum.... just saying...

12 June 2019
TStag wrote:

I wonder why like so many other car makers in the UK they aren’t investing in new plant and machinery???? I wonder if it’s Brexit related? 

Investment in UK car plants has dropped by 80% since the referendum.... just saying...

It's been said many times before but people like you either don't listen or more likely don't want to listen because it doesn't suit your agenda. So here's your answer:

Jaguar started laying the bricks for their factory in Slovakia before the Brexit vote was taken.

Your EU approved a £110 million payment to help fund that factory! 

JLR have just announced record losses.

JLR sales are down. Might be related to producing unpopular cars with the public and JLR products proping up the bottom of the reliability tables - who knows. But one thing is very clear, outside of the UK Jaguar products in particular are not selling well.

Land Rover products do have a market outside the UK but their biggest market (China) is going thru a downturn and as a result JLR are being hammered.

Investment in UK car plants have dropped?  Well that's very easy to answer - it's constantly in the news as to why but again falls on deaf ears if you don't like the answer.

The largest car plants in the UK are owned by the Japanese. Your wonderful EU recently renogotiated import duties with the Japanese government (I'm not saying that's a bad thing in general ) but one of the downsides for us is it's cheaper for the Japanese to manufacturing some models in their home market and exporting them to Europe.

I could go on, but probably the best answer of all is if you're theory is right, why is car production throughout Europe gone down too? Why has it gone down in China?

If your suggestion that production is down because of Brexit, then wouldn't we'd see a surge of manufacturers moving to within the EU? Open your eyes man... that's not what's happening. Ford engine plant is pulling out of UK - they're pulling out of the EU too. People like you highlight the first point but bury their heads in the sand at the second. It's fake news an scaremongering at it's very best.

It's becoming tiresome reading folk blaming Brexit for everything. Of course the disruption will have some effect on manufacturing but you people make out that if we'd voted to remain, everything would have been rosy. It wasn't rosy for Ford, Vauxhall etc who pulled out whilst we were part of the EU. It wasn't rosy for the Swindon factory which ended up running at half capacity when we were in the EU. It certainly wasn't rosy for Linwood and Midlands when Peugeot Talbot, British Leyland and Rover collapsed or Ford at Dagenham and Southampton shut. Fat lot of good being in the EU did for the tens of thousands of jobs that were lost thru those closures.

When are both brexiteers and remoaners ever going to face the realities of a global market?     

 

12 June 2019

If you read regional newspapers (I’m from the West Midlands) it’s quite clear from local journalists that JLR have set aside a huge amount of cash for building a new car factory in Coventry to make electric cars and have already secured government buy in. 

However rather than build this car plant they are setting up production lines in Austria.....

I absolutely agree that not all decisions in the car industry are entirely to do with Bexit. However sometimes there is a fine line between investing in the UK and investing elsewhere. Could Honda have kept Swindon open? Yes but why risk it with Brexit looming? Ford probably would have closed Bridgend because they have too much capacity, but again with Brexit hanging over us any close decision ceases to be close. 

So if your JLR and about to invest billions in electric cars but could delay a decision by making cars abroad for a bit longer why wouldn’t you?

During the 2008 financial crisis the car industry saw sales drop by huge amounts. But investment in UK car production jumped. What’s changed between now and then?

 

13 June 2019

The bit you said about jlr products being unpopular outside of the UK

Spot on.

Their reputation and  track record for unreliable and bland looking old fashioned uneconomical vehicles is pan global.

It badly needs someone to take it over with new eyes.

BMW perhaps, better than the bunch they are with now.

 

13 June 2019
scotty5 wrote:

TStag wrote:

I wonder why like so many other car makers in the UK they aren’t investing in new plant and machinery???? I wonder if it’s Brexit related? 

Investment in UK car plants has dropped by 80% since the referendum.... just saying...

It's been said many times before but people like you either don't listen or more likely don't want to listen because it doesn't suit your agenda. So here's your answer:

Jaguar started laying the bricks for their factory in Slovakia before the Brexit vote was taken.

Your EU approved a £110 million payment to help fund that factory! 

JLR have just announced record losses.

JLR sales are down. Might be related to producing unpopular cars with the public and JLR products proping up the bottom of the reliability tables - who knows. But one thing is very clear, outside of the UK Jaguar products in particular are not selling well.

Land Rover products do have a market outside the UK but their biggest market (China) is going thru a downturn and as a result JLR are being hammered.

Investment in UK car plants have dropped?  Well that's very easy to answer - it's constantly in the news as to why but again falls on deaf ears if you don't like the answer.

The largest car plants in the UK are owned by the Japanese. Your wonderful EU recently renogotiated import duties with the Japanese government (I'm not saying that's a bad thing in general ) but one of the downsides for us is it's cheaper for the Japanese to manufacturing some models in their home market and exporting them to Europe.

I could go on, but probably the best answer of all is if you're theory is right, why is car production throughout Europe gone down too? Why has it gone down in China?

If your suggestion that production is down because of Brexit, then wouldn't we'd see a surge of manufacturers moving to within the EU? Open your eyes man... that's not what's happening. Ford engine plant is pulling out of UK - they're pulling out of the EU too. People like you highlight the first point but bury their heads in the sand at the second. It's fake news an scaremongering at it's very best.

It's becoming tiresome reading folk blaming Brexit for everything. Of course the disruption will have some effect on manufacturing but you people make out that if we'd voted to remain, everything would have been rosy. It wasn't rosy for Ford, Vauxhall etc who pulled out whilst we were part of the EU. It wasn't rosy for the Swindon factory which ended up running at half capacity when we were in the EU. It certainly wasn't rosy for Linwood and Midlands when Peugeot Talbot, British Leyland and Rover collapsed or Ford at Dagenham and Southampton shut. Fat lot of good being in the EU did for the tens of thousands of jobs that were lost thru those closures.

When are both brexiteers and remoaners ever going to face the realities of a global market?   

 

This is what those ignorant of history do not understand.

Our car industry has been eviscerated BECAUSE we were in the EU - and therefore our fiscal policy was restrained with a link to our main competitor, Germany.

After all, the whole point of the EU is to align trade and regulatory policies.

Being joined at the hip with our main competitor was, and is, a disadvantage. In the same way there is always a weaker conjoined twin, without the benefit of devaluation Germany has from the Euro - the UK car industry suffered.

Leaving the EU will not directly bring back any industry, but it gives us the chance to start attracting industry - on our own terms. With our connections to China and the US - not a remotely weak argument.

First however, we need to end the uncertainty currently existing due to not leaving the EU - uncertainty that is causing waves and destabilising our ship.

13 June 2019
TStag wrote:

....

Investment in UK car plants has dropped by 80% since the referendum.... just saying...

Nope the Japanese are moving out because of the 'cars for cheese' deal, thanks EU (Germany and France)

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

13 June 2019

When will the twits at JLR finally rid themselves of this turkey?  Let me be frank, everyone - decision makers know Jaguar is a turkey.  There is a real risk that Jaguar will pull the whole company down.  One twit - and I mean ONE twit thought it would be a great idea to merge the Land Rover and Jaguar businesses, placing the 'Jaguar' first quite deliberately to bounce off the successful 'Land Rover' brand.For everyone under 30, looking at a career in business strategy, let me quite blunt...  One twit - that’s all it takes and you risk a business going under.The brands have to be split.  And quickly.  PSA wants a premium-ish brand.  Look, just let them have it.  Operationally, the split could be complete in less than 2 years.But no, people, the twits know best.  And will carry on regardless.  It will be a 3-day week next.  Why?  THERE IS NO REAL GLOBAL DEMAND FOR THE JAGUAR BRAND.Will someone please communicate that to the top - before the business is unsavable.  That would be a tragedy of the highest order.There are thousands of people dependant on decision makers making the right strategic decisions – you know basic things like paying mortgages, feeding children, paying for central heating in the winter.  PLEASE – A I PLEAD AGAIN - STOP F***ING ABOUT AND GET THE PROBLEM SOLVED. Jaguar needs to be sold off ASAP.

13 June 2019
Kamelo wrote:

When will the twits at JLR finally rid themselves of this turkey?  Let me be frank, everyone - decision makers know Jaguar is a turkey.  There is a real risk that Jaguar will pull the whole company down.  One twit - and I mean ONE twit thought it would be a great idea to merge the Land Rover and Jaguar businesses, placing the 'Jaguar' first quite deliberately to bounce off the successful 'Land Rover' brand.For everyone under 30, looking at a career in business strategy, let me quite blunt...  One twit - that’s all it takes and you risk a business going under.The brands have to be split.  And quickly.  PSA wants a premium-ish brand.  Look, just let them have it.  Operationally, the split could be complete in less than 2 years.But no, people, the twits know best.  And will carry on regardless.  It will be a 3-day week next.  Why?  THERE IS NO REAL GLOBAL DEMAND FOR THE JAGUAR BRAND.Will someone please communicate that to the top - before the business is unsavable.  That would be a tragedy of the highest order.There are thousands of people dependant on decision makers making the right strategic decisions – you know basic things like paying mortgages, feeding children, paying for central heating in the winter.  PLEASE – A I PLEAD AGAIN - STOP F***ING ABOUT AND GET THE PROBLEM SOLVED. Jaguar needs to be sold off ASAP.

But Land Rover Sales are falling at a higher rate than Jaguar right now

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