There is a terrible inevitability to today’s announcement by JLR that it will shut one of its Midlands factories by “mid-decade”.
This has been on the cards ever since JLR’s expansion plans went up in smoke around 2002/3, leaving the company with too many plants and not enough models to make.
Notwithstanding the heartache of a workforce that has to live with uncertainty for six months while JLR decides whether to shut Solihull or Castle Bromwich, this tough decision needs to be applauded because without it JLR has a limited future.
The company is planning its future around 300,000 cars a year and two plants - and that is probably about right, although some car companies might say one could do the job.
Two are at least justified of only because JLR is a fiendishly complicated car company and will have at least 17 models and body derivatives in production by mid-decade, seven from LR/RR and ten from Jag.