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April 22, 2005

UK: Jaguar reported to have “radically” cut X-type production

Jaguar is reported to have radically cut back production of its X-type model after worldwide sales fell by nearly a third.

Jaguar is reported to have radically cut back production of its X-type model after worldwide sales fell by nearly a third.

The Daily Telegraph said the news would inevitably raise question marks about the health of the British car industry after the collapse of MG Rover with the loss of 5,000 jobs last week – production at Jaguar’s historic Browns Lane facility in Coventry is already due to end this summer.

Jaguar confirmed to the paper on Thursday that 2,300 workers at its Halewood plant on Merseyside did not build any cars last week – they have been back making X-types this week but will only work three days next week.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Jaguar could not comment on Halewood’s production in the following weeks because the May rota had not yet been drawn up – it said the shutdown was a “sensible thing to do” after worldwide sales fell by 29% in the three months to the end of March.

Jaguar spokesman Ken McConomy told the paper: “We have to deliver a strategy of less volume and more revenue per vehicle. We know that we have cars in the pipeline and with the dealers. We don’t want to flood the market.”

He reportedly said that there were no concerns about potential job losses and pointed out that from next year Land Rover’s new Freelander model would also be made at the plant.

The Daily Telegraph said unions were relaxed about the shutdown. Amicus spokeswoman Caterine Bithell told the paper the union was confident the problems would end once production at Browns Lane ceased in July with the loss of 1,150 jobs.

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