Birmingham, England – Jaguar Land Rover has urged immediate action by the U.K. government to deliver a promised aid package to the automotive industry.
The request was made by David Smith, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, at a dinner sponsored by CBI, a business lobbying organization. Smith welcomed the government’s reaction to calls from the automotive sector for support, while stressing the need to stimulate the market and the urgency of the situation facing manufacturers, suppliers and dealers.
“It would now be a tragedy were the aid package not to be delivered in time to avert the industrial consequences of another quarter like this one,” Smith said. He referred to “tens of billions of support” provided by the Germans, French, Swedes and Americans for their automotive industries, and said that action is needed right now in the U.K., not just for the short-term task of protecting jobs and skills, but also to ensure that the country has the right foundations for economic success in the future.
He also stressed that the aid is not a bailout, pointing out that in the 18 months prior to the credit crunch, Jaguar Land Rover made profits of more than £600 million.
Smith said the U.K. motor industry is investing in new technologies, such as electric hybrids and lightweight materials, and that Britain has the opportunity to lead the green, low-carbon industrial revolution just as it led the steam-powered, high-carbon industrial revolution of the late 19th century.