JLR bosses to meet MPs over future plans
12 October 2009

Jaguar Land Rover bosses are set to be quizzed by MPs over the company’s future plans.

Last month the firm said it would shut one of its factories in the West Midlands, claiming no redundancies would be necessary due to the expansion of the remaining plant.

A decision will not be made until next year, but Solihull is the most likely due to the aluminium manufacturing capacity at Castle Bromwich, which will probably be utilised for the next generation of Range Rover and Sport.

The JLR management will tomorrow meet Labour MP for Coventry South Jim Cunningham and other Coventry and Warwickshire MPs at House of Commons.

"I want to hear the company give clear commitments to job security to enable workers and the unions to face the future with confidence,” said Cunnigham.

“I'm also interested what new models the company plans to bring on stream to keep Jaguar Land Rover ahead of its competitors. As a quintessential British company, which is vital to the economy of Coventry and the wider Warwickshire and West Midlands economy, it's important that the chief executive David Smith reaffirms JLR’s confidence both in the highly skilled workforce within the company and their ongoing and lasting commitment to the UK as a whole.”

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12 October 2009

Don't understand this much. As the government only gave them a token amount I can't see why they would want to question Tata's over their obvious plans to switch some production abroad. As we have witnessed some Labour ministers talking about moving away from relying on the financial markets for a source of UK income and back to manufacturing, it would be great to hear about some big car manufacturing plans to open up here and get government backing. We MUST get back to manufacturing things in my opinion.

12 October 2009

[quote Autocar] The JLR management will tomorrow meet Labour MP for Coventry South Jim Cunningham and other Coventry and Warwickshire MPs at House of Commons. "I want to hear the company give clear commitments to job security to enable workers and the unions to face the future with confidence,” said Cunnigham.[/quote]

MP speak decoded: "There's an election coming up and I want to make sure that I make myself look like I'm doing something to keep myself in a job."

Stange when Jaguar actually asked for help months back they were treated as an Indian company, and told to go back to Mr Tata with a begging bowl, but now when the MP's ass is on the line they are "a quintessential British company, which is vital to the economy of Coventry and the wider Warwickshire and West Midlands economy" and "it's important that the chief executive David Smith reaffirms JLR’s confidence both in the highly skilled workforce within the company and their ongoing and lasting commitment to the UK as a whole"

At which point should David Smith tell the MPs to take a hike, and that they will be switching production to India due to the UK's total lack of commitment to back either Jaguar or the manufacturing industry as a whole?

12 October 2009

JLR should turn up and state that they will review their commitment to the UK once they are able to asertain the level of state aid Vauxhall will be receiving. If Vauxhall then gets a 400 million pound bailout the JLR should demand the same deal.

12 October 2009

Manufacturing is much cheaper in Asia. The writing is on the wall.

12 October 2009

Scoobman. You say that, but how does Germany manage to be THE manufacturing base for Europe (according to the BBC this week). Why can't we be? According to the Beeb it's why they have come out of the recession so quickly, and that apparently hasn't been lost on even Labour ministers! China can throw out stuff really cheap, but Germany manages to produce quality stuff that sells. Why can't we? We're incredibly innovative. I don't know if you watched the TV programme about the fight between Clive Sinclair and Chris Curry (Sinclair vs Acorn) in the 80s, but I came away from the programme not thinking about those two, but how we let the Americans in to sweep up the market! Sinclair and Acorn just rolled over. Just imagine if one of them had been Apple or Microsoft!

We MUST manufacture.

12 October 2009

Golfman,

We do still have a substantial manufacturing base in this country, it just isn't helpful to the BBC to publicise it!! For the record I employ 177 people in an engineering manufacturer in the midlands.

Hope the JLR Management will turn the tables and ask the MP's about their expenses.

12 October 2009

[quote golfman]Why can't we?[/quote]

The germans - like the japanese - are an industrious people with a very strong work ethic. That cannot be said for the people who live in the green and pleasent land. Most new jobs in the private sector that have been created since 1997 have gone to hard working immigrants who were prepared to do them. British people would rather stay at home on benefits.

However, jaguar has proven that it is possible to manufacture using british labour at a sensible price and reasonable build quality without disastrous consequences, but for every jaguar, there is a land rover, a british leyland, an MG Rover, etc.

A stupid person might blame the demise of british manufacturing on Mrs Thatcher, but all she really did was hasten its already expensive and innevitable decline. The real blame lies with the unions, who, lest we forget, are currently in the process of destroying jaguar.

12 October 2009

[quote golfman]Scoobman. You say that, but how does Germany manage to be THE manufacturing base for Europe (according to the BBC this week). Why can't we be?[/quote]

My opinion, and others will disagree, is that Germany has managed to establish and maintain a reputation for quality engineering, and people are prepared to pay extra for that quality. The UK's reputation for quality engineering was largely destroyed in the '70s, although industrial malaise probably goes back much further. Once lost, it is virtually impossible to re-build reputation.

The UK's manufacturing future lies in high tech high margin products such as medical products, pharmaceuticals and semiconductor design and not with low margin mechanical engineering.

I can't see the UK ever becoming a large-scale manufacturing country again - we are better at other things such as trading, services and financial services, and they will continue to dominate while we close science departments at universities and replace them with David Beckham Studies.

13 October 2009

Disagree with you Scoobman - a reputation can be rebuilt but it takes time and is a fragile thing. If we work at it we can become recognised for high quality design and manufacture just like Germany.

And I completely agree with Orangewheels. This government has unbelieveable cheek. When JLR required support in difficult times, the government refused to lift a finger. Now they want reassurances that JLR will support the UK economy and keep jobs here?

13 October 2009

[quote DeBruce]

Disagree with you Scoobman - a reputation can be rebuilt but it takes time and is a fragile thing. If we work at it we can become recognised for high quality design and manufacture just like Germany.

And I completely agree with Orangewheels. This government has unbelieveable cheek. When JLR required support in difficult times, the government refused to lift a finger. Now they want reassurances that JLR will support the UK economy and keep jobs here?

[/quote]

It’s a bit of a double edged sword isn’t it? If the Government were to give Jag loans there would be wailing of corporate welfare. On the other hand if they were to deny financial support the unions would cry foul for not protecting manufacturing. The German and Japanese have no workforce advantage over the UK, they just know how to milk trade agreements and use their respective Governments backing in a predatory fashion. Auto manufacturing isn’t rocket science and even if it was the UK has enormous talent in this segment, it just takes the will and leadership to move in the right direction. As far as not needing manufacturing, well that is just insane; Cheddar man cannot live by banking and the service industry alone, there is value in making something of substance. You have already witnessed the folly of placing all your eggs in one basket; even the lowest form of stock broker will tell you diversity is the safest measure in uncertain times. I’m an American and it aggravates me to no end that a country with an automotive history as rich as yours has basically abandoned something you apparently care about so much. I’m not saying you need to run down the middle of the street waving a Union Jack, but some of the self loathing and can’t do attitude here is appalling.

You don’t need a weatherman
To know which way the wind blows
—Robert Allen Zimmerman

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