Castle Bromwich or Solihull to shut by the middle of the next decade
24 September 2009

Jaguar Land Rover will close one of its plants in the West Midlands by the middle of the next decade.

The firm announced in its revised business plan that its Castle Bromwich plant in Birmingham or its Solihull plant would be shut, but it stated that there would be no net job losses due to an agreement between unions and parent company Tata.

Range Rover LRX confirmed

Around 800 new jobs will be created next year at JLR's Halewood plant on Merseyside, when production of the new Range Rover LRX begins.

JLR currently employs around 5000 workers in Solihull, 2000 in Castle Bromwich and 1800 at Halewood. It will decide in the next 12 to 18 months which plant it will close. However a Land Rover spokeswoman told Autocar the existing plant would be expanded to accomodate the two workforces, and "definitely no jobs will go".

It said the plan was designed to increase the firm's competitiveness, drive growth and sustain profitability.

David Smith, JLR chief executive, said, “This is a plan that recognises the impact the economic collapse has had on our business, and at the same time the opportunities that lie ahead for these two great brands.”

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said he welcomed "the commitment that Tata is showing in the highly skilled workforce employed by Jaguar Land Rover in the West Midlands and Merseyside, as well as the top-class models it produces".

However, Bert Hill, regional officer at the GMB union, voiced his concerns on the plans to the BBC and said the union would be opposing JLR's decision.

"We are now in a meeting with the company to hear details of their plans. The GMB will be opposing everything we have heard so far. We will fight the company on this - of that I have no doubt," he said.

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Comments
14

24 September 2009

Does the joint production actually fit on the Castle Bromwich site?

24 September 2009

How much more 'heart' can be ripped out of the Midlands?

It's a tragedy.

24 September 2009

[quote Walking]Does the joint production actually fit on the Castle Bromwich site?[/quote]

Castle bromwich site will be closed and production of all Jaguar's moved there. 2012 model Randge Rover will be built at Halewood. Discovery and RR sport will be gradually fazed out over the next few years and in place will be a lighter 7seat Freelander type vehicle to replace the Disco (also built at Halewood).

24 September 2009

[quote doomngloom]

[quote Walking]Does the joint production actually fit on the Castle Bromwich site?[/quote]

Castle bromwich site will be closed and production of all Jaguar's moved there. 2012 model Randge Rover will be built at Halewood. Discovery and RR sport will be gradually fazed out over the next few years and in place will be a lighter 7seat Freelander type vehicle to replace the Disco (also built at Halewood).

[/quote]

When i say "production will be moved there", i meant Solihul to build all Jaguars. Sorry

24 September 2009

[quote Autocar]but it stated that there would be no net job losses due to an agreement between unions and parent company Tata.

[/quote]

unfortunately this isn't quite what is being reported elsewhere - the 'no net job losses' is actually just 'no compulsory redundancies'. The whole point of shrinking to one main site from the two today is a reduction in fixed cost per vehicle of output(plus the possible offshoring of Defender production requiring less bodies anyway at the new Jag/L/Rover combined production site). Wages and salaries are a large part of that. There will be a sizeable headcount reduction through natural wastage, early retirement and voluntary redundancy programmes.

As to which gets the bullet, Solihull or Castle Brom, I know Solihull is a large site, at about 200+ acres, certainly larger than Castle Brom but surely the money that would be fetched by selling Solihull to property developers for housing, in the Solihull, Elmdon area would be far greater than B'ham inner city, deprived Castle Brom. Somehow they'll squeeze onto Castle Brom is my guess.

Lastly, is reported elsewhere Range Rover, RR Sport and Disco will join up with Jag XF/XK/XJ on one site leaving the Freelander and new LRX at Halewood. Does that mean Defender, civilian and military, production is off somewhere else from Solihull. India is my guess. Anyone else ideas, thoughts?

PS 'doomngloom', hadn't read your post before I posted - slow typer. Are you sure it's Solihull that'll be the combined site? There was a poster on here 'bout a year ago, who said he was JLR, and sketched out the future of the three current sites and I 'm sure he said it was Solihull that would be sold off for the high value of its land for development.

24 September 2009

[quote doomngloom]

Castle bromwich site will be closed and production of all Jaguar's moved there. 2012 model Randge Rover will be built at Halewood. Discovery and RR sport will be gradually fazed out over the next few years and in place will be a lighter 7seat Freelander type vehicle to replace the Disco (also built at Halewood).

[/quote]

Interesting, personally I would have said they may close Solihull. The investment to build the new lines have just gone to Castle Brom, so it will be there for a while. They are not changing platforms soon, and they couldn't move a line over the summer shutdown period... after all it took 9 months+ to strip out Escort and put in X-Type.

For me, it Solihull to go. RR and Disco to go to Halewood. I mean if they 'actually' make the RR aluminium then they have to scrap all the current robots and replace them with self piercing riveters and glue robots. With Freelander gone, it would pretty much only leave Defender, which would probably go to India. Additionally by the time they close it, we might have a bouyant land market again, and the site is very prime land being so close to the M6, M40, M42 and the airport. They should be able to get enopugh money back to fund development for the next few years (provided they don't have to clean the land up too much)

24 September 2009

[quote doomngloom]When i say "production will be moved there", i meant Solihul to build all Jaguars. Sorry[/quote]

for older readers, who'd have thought it some years ago, the old 'Rover' works at Solihull becoming the 'Jag'. It's like musical chairs.

Queer too that Jag, with its recent track-record of good product quality off the back of the latter years of the old Browns Lane plant and then the Castle Brom plant, once it got into its stride, is now to be moved to Solihull, which although many might not like to hear it, has generally had a reputation for producing sub-standard product quality in its L/Rover range of products until fairly recently.

24 September 2009

I suspect that somehow production will be moved to Castle Brom because the XF, XJ and XK are all a long way from being replaced. Wheras all the Land Rover models at Solihull need replacing in the middle of the decade. Therefore it would be easier to simply expand capacity at Castle Brom and gradually move any new models there.

The best thing the unions could do at this stage is accept the inevitable but lobby for a state of the art new plant to be build in the West Mids by JLR. This would give car making a long term future in the West Mids. They could also lean on the government for some cash given that Vauxhall is being gifted 400 million....

24 September 2009

It's a really sad thing to hear,but in the current climate there is now place for sentiment, i know that sounds harsh but we're all in this for the long run until things get better, it won't be a year it'll take longer, but if we want jobs to be there when the economy starts to recover then there has to be a little pain to hopefully be jobs in the future, i know most people will have heard this before but it's the only way back to prosperity.

Peter Cavellini.

24 September 2009

I suspect some assembly work will be moving abroad too. If Solihull workers are offered jobs in Castle Brom, this should result in the level of take-up that JLR will be seeking to overcome their no compulsory redundancy promise. I know from personal experience that even when workers accept relocation, the leaver rate is very high.

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