JAGUAR Land Rover has warmed to the news that the Government will be providing a support package for the UK’s struggling car industry.
Yesterday afternoon, Business Secretary Peter Mandelson unveiled loans which could be worth as much as £2.3 billion. The announcement follows repeated calls for the Government to come to the rescue of the country’s motor industry.
Jaguar Land Rover is one of many to have been hit by the downturn - cutbacks and job losses have already been announced across the company.
David Smith, chief executive officer of JLR, said the firm was “encouraged” by the plans.
“Through this move the Government has recognised the strategic economic importance of the car industry in the UK as a major provider of high-skilled jobs and a significant contributor to our balance of trade,” he said.
The car giant is due to meet with the Government today (Wednesday) to discuss the finer details of the package.
Unite, the trade union which represents car workers, welcomed the Government’s action, but warned the sum was not enough to go around the industry.
Tony Woodley, joint general secretary, said: “£2billion sounds like a lot of money, but at least half of this will be taken up by Vauxhall and Jaguar Land Rover alone, leaving little or nothing for the hundreds of component companies.”
Lorely Burt, MP for Solihull, said: “This is good news for Jaguar Land Rover. It is essential that we do support real engineering instead of simply pumping money into the banks and financial services.
“I would like to have seen more, but I know that Jaguar Land Rover is well placed to take advantage of the guarantees on offer to preserve the capacity, skills and jobs essential for our local economy.”
As part of the measures announced yesterday, the Government plans to unlock more than £1 billion from the European Investment Bank and will stump up an additional £1 billion to fund eco-friendly vehicles.