September 20, 2004
Jaguar to close Browns Lane plant, withdraw from Formula One
London, England – Jaguar Cars announced details of a comprehensive business plan to stem its financial losses. The plan includes:
- Discontinuation of vehicle assembly operations at Browns Lane by September, 2005; the transfer of 425 jobs to Castle Bromwich, terms for 400 voluntary separations at Browns Lane; and a reduction of 750 staff and agency positions.
- Withdrawal from Formula One Racing at the end of 2004.
- Production of an all-aluminium XK sports car codenamed X150 that will go on sale in early 2006; a new XJ diesel sedan in Europe and a new long wheelbase version in the US, a new high-performance X-TYPE diesel in Europe and an X-TYPE estate to be launched in the US.
- A review of Jaguar’s retail and market infrastructure throughout the world, and revenue management steps that include a reduction in daily rental units and revised series and model actions.
Joe Greenwell, Chairman and CEO Jaguar and Land Rover, said “The fact is despite significant sales growth and excellent levels of quality in recent years, we have not been able to keep pace with significantly larger competitors. We have too much capacity and this is our underlying structural problem. Our bottom line has further deteriorated this year with the weakness of the dollar, unprecedented incentives in the premium market and the shift from premium cars to SUVs. We had no choice but to take action and I firmly believe that all the elements of this plan are essential if we are to stem the losses.”
Ford Jaguar unions, the Transport and General Workers Union and Amicus,
condemned the announcement to move Jaguar production from Browns
Lane in Coventry to Castle Bromwich with the loss of over eleven hundred
jobs. The joint unions said the net effect of this will be to close Browns
Lane as well as the Whitley plant.
The union leaders said they were now concerned that today’s decision
could lead to further closures in the future and that they intend to draw a
line in the sand. In a strong message to the company Tony Woodley, General
Secretary of the T&G, and Amicus General Secretary Derek Simpson said they
would provide leadership to workers to fight for their plants and jobs.
“We are not prepared to see British workers to be treated as cannon
fodder to satisfy American shareholders,” said Tony Woodley. “We will be
consulting our members and giving them leadership to fight for their plants
and jobs. It is also likely that we will be consulting with our members
across Ford in the UK.”
Derek Simpson said: “Ford’s decision may kill off Jaguar altogether. Our
members will fight like tigers to keep the lion’s share of quality car
manufacturing in Britain.”