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October 19, 2004

UK: BMW axes 400 car body plant jobs

BMW reportedly will cut 400 jobs at its car body plant in Swindon because of a fall in orders from MG Rover and Land Rover.

By bcusack

BMW reportedly will cut 400 jobs at its car body plant in Swindon because of a fall in orders from MG Rover and Land Rover.

The Times said the cuts follow 330 job losses from the plant earlier this year. The German carmaker on Monday declared the latest cuts to be the final stage of a restructuring of the Swindon plant.

The paper said the plant, a former Rover group factory, produces car body parts for MG Rover and Land Rover. The plant also presses body parts for the Mini, which has increased its volume after greater than expected sales.

BMW reportedly said the 400 job cuts, which will take the workforce at the plant to 1,100, will be done on a voluntary basis. Employees will also be given the option to transfer to the company’s Oxford Mini plant.

MG Rover’s contract with the Swindon plant ends next year. It has been increasingly buying body parts from other UK suppliers over the past few months.

A BMW spokeswoman told The Times the future of the Swindon plant was secure. She said that the plant had won extra work from Mini, producing subassembly parts, such as bonnets and doors, that are currently made in Germany.

BMW promised in July to invest £40 million into modernising the plant, the newspaper noted.

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