Firm poised to go back on decision to axe one of its Midlands plants, according to a report
18 April 2010

Jaguar Land Rover is considering a U-turn on its decision to close one of its Midlands plants by the middle of this decade, due to rising sales and a new management team, according to a report.

The Sunday Times says the decision depends on the outcome of talks with the government about receiving financial assistance for new models.

Last September, JLR said it would close either its Solihull plant or its Castle Bromwich facility to boost efficiency, although the closure of one would lead to the expansion of the other. At the time, Autocar sources indicated that Solihull was the more likely plant to shut due to the aluminium construction facility at Castle Bromwich.

That decision was taken under JLR’s old management structure; the firm has since axed CEO David Smith and parent firm Tata appointed a new European management team of ex-Opel boss Carl-Peter Forster and ex-BMW executive Ralf Speth.

The firm has had a strong start to 2010 in terms of new car sales, recording year-on-year worldwide growth of 43 per cent in March alone. The forthcoming launch of several new models, including the Range Rover LRX, has reportedly encouraged the firm’s bosses to increase production and seek government assistance on additional new models.

No one from JLR was immediately available to comment on the reports when contacted by Autocar.

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