Worsening financial results prompted the changes announced on Friday, Jaguar told Automotive News Europe.

The British car maker is part of Ford Motor Co.’s Premier Automotive Group , which lost $US362 million in the second quarter.

Ford executives attributed most of that loss to poor results from Jaguar, which was badly hit by the weak dollar and slow sales in the US, its most important market. To the end of August, Jaguar’s 2004 sales in the US were down 11.5% to 31,899 compared with the same period last year.

“Numbers like that speak for themselves and cannot be ignored,” said Mark Fields, PAG chairman.

Added Jaguar CEO Joe Greenwell: “We have no choice but to take these actions. We cannot sustain the Jaguar business as it is currently configured.”

Jaguar’s disappointing results are bad news for Ford, which was counting on up to $600 million in profits from PAG this year. Ford hopes to make $7 billion in annual pretax profits by 2006 and its luxury brands — Lincoln and PAG’s Jaguar, Aston Martin, Land Rover and Volvo — are supposed to account for a third of that profit.

Jaguar said on Friday, September 17, that about 1,150 jobs will be lost at Browns Lane though the plant will keep its wood veneer production facility.

Union leaders are worried that stopping car production at Browns Lane will lead to the closure of Jaguar’s other two plants – in Castle Bromwich and Halewood, England – and the transfer of production to the US.

Jaguar to end car production at Browns Lane