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Land Rover closure threat hits borough

JAGUAR Land Rover will close either its Solihull or Castle Bromwich plant in the coming years it was announced yesterday

JAGUAR Land Rover will close either its Solihull or Castle Bromwich plant in the coming years it was announced yesterday

The troubled car marque will decide next year which of the two factories it plans to shut down

In total 7,000 staff work across the two sites, although the firm has stressed there would be no compulsory redundancies involved.

JLR boss David Smith said: “This is a plan that recognises the impact the economic collapse has had on our business, and at the same time the opportunities that lie ahead for these two great brands.

“We are confident that a new, more efficient and competitive structure combined with future investment will unlock the true potential of this business.”

But Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden, said that the region was getting a raw deal. While the local operations will be scaled back to one site, 800 new jobs will be created at the Halewood factory in Liverpool.

“This is a bitter blow for the West Midlands,” she said. “We are already the region which has been worst affected by the recession.

“My heart goes out to the workforce. At the moment it’s unclear which of the plants will be shut, but either closure would have a real impact on the borough”

Jerry Blackett, chief executive of Birmingham and Solihull Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the pledge of no compulsory redundancies

“JLR’s new business plan is very welcome and it’s reassuring to know that the company is dedicated to preserving jobs even with the closure of either the Castle Bromwich plant or Lode Lane in Solihull,” he said.

5,000 workers are based at the Solihull factory - which has been producing Land Rovers for over 60 years. At the Castle Bromwich plant - which was originally built to manufacture Spitfires - there are 2,000 staff.

This week’s announcement follows various other cutbacks over the past 12 months, including 2,500 job losses, pay freezes and reduction in production.

 

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