Castle Bromwich or Solihull: Which one was going to be shut down? Maybe both? Well now, thanks to a record 60% rise in car sales in February and the replacement of the old boss, things are looking up.
An undisclosed report, from an unnamed source ‘quite close to JLR senior management’ intimated that "One of the options now is not to close either of them. There is a new strategy now being developed - it is a completely new ball game. It has now gone back from 'there will be a plant closure.' They are looking at it again."
Good thing, as Rolls Royce and Bentley are now being built in Germany and MG is now in China. Jaguar Land Rover is owned by India’s Tata Motors Group, of course, but its manufacturing is still being done in jolly old England. The thought of further plant closures there would have brought the once-proud automotive tradition of Great Britain to a virtual standstill.
Even better, the secretive JLR source has also disclosed that upcoming 2010 vehicle models for Jaguar and Land Rover could guarantee the futures of both Solihull and Castle Bromwich factories. "That is now a very real possibility."
The earlier closure threat was announced under the old regime of David Smith at JLR who was replaced in a management shuffle last January by Ralf Speth.
The Tata Motors Group also announced some £38.7 million in after-tax profits just for the last 2009 fiscal quarter alone, which led to this:
"We said back in September we would go through a process and make a decision in the middle of the year. As you would expect our new CEOs are studying our business and looking at our plans closely."
A new ball game, indeed.
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