After buying the company from BMW last July, Ford decided to cut 800 of the
9,300-strong workforce as part of an efficiency drive to break even by 2002.
In the end, manufacturing director Marin Burela, told the newspaper, 1,300 have
left due to retirement and attrition without “a whisper of dissent”.
The Daily Telegraph added that some of the job losses were a result of a 10,000-unit
downturn in Freelander light SUV production due to a shortage of BMW diesel
Land Rover expects its workforce to remain around the 8,000 mark despite plans
to increase annual output from 170,000 to 300,000, the newspaper said.
That had raised fears in Britain that some future models will be built in other
countries, it added.
There has previously been speculation that additional Land Rover production
could ‘mop up’ spare Ford factory capacity in the United States, a
major Land Rover market where sales are about to be boosted by the launch of
the Freelander V6.
Ford plans eventually to triple Jaguar output in Britain and has converted
the former Escort car factory near Liverpool to produce the new X-type.
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