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April 19, 2010

UK: JLR boss confirms UK plant closure

Jaguar Landrover (JLR) has confirmed it will press ahead with plans to shut one of its two West Midlands sites in the UK.

Jaguar Landrover (JLR) has confirmed it will press ahead with plans to shut one of its two West Midlands sites in the UK.

Speculation has been swirling around the British media this weekend that Tata Motors-owned JLR might keep both plants in Castle Bromwich and Solihull open, but this has been quashed by the Indian parent.

JLR has posted some impressive numbers of late with global sales soaring 60% in February alone to nearly 17,200 vehicles.

Jaguar volume rose 55% to 3,292 models and and Land Rover was up 62% to 13,905 units, fuelling discussion the significantly-increased demand could lead to both Midlands plants being retained.

But newly-appointed Tata Motors Group CEO Carl-Peter Forster moved today (19 April) to quash the rumours in a statement

“Recently there has been media speculation that Jaguar Land Rover is re-examining the decision to consolidate its West Midlands manufacturing facilities from two plants to one,” he said.

“I can confirm that this speculation is based on rumour and that these rumours are untrue and serve only to create confusion.”

Forster added as part of the new business strategy revealed last September, JLR would consolidate its UK manufacturing facilities from three plants to two

“Since my appointment as Group CEO of Tata Motors, I have reviewed JLR’s business strategy and this consolidation, which will improve both efficiency and cost and align manufacturing capability with product plans and future volume growth, remains in JLR’s plans,” he noted.

“There has been no change in strategy.”

JLR will announced its decision concerning which West Midlands plant will be retained by mid-year.

The transition from two sites to one will take place “through the middle of this decade.” JLR says it does not envisage any redundancies or reduction in overall West Midlands employment levels.

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