I was very happily surprised when this popped up on Twitter this morning:
Just a few weeks ago, I had read something about how the decision as to which factory they were going to close would be announced soon and then this! It says so much for the success of the company as of late. I just felt like it was going to be the end of the Lode Lane plant – where most Land Rovers have been built since 1948. I’ve visited the factory there twice for tours and great off-roading. If you’ve never been and can get there, you should check it out:
A gallery from one of my 2007 visits:
We actually saw them doing test stampings on the Range Rover Sport body panels about a month before it had been announced – didn’t actually realize just what we were seeing at the time. And make sure to take a drive on the Jungle Track.
Just to close – congratulations again to everyone at those plants, you’re doing a great job, and now you get to keep it going!
Not my video below, but thought it works for this post:
Here’s the official PR:
JAGUAR LAND ROVER AND TRADE UNIONS REACH LANDMARK DEAL
• Ambitious plans for new models and volume growth
• Multi-billion pound investment in the Jaguar Land Rover business
• Three manufacturing plants retained in the UK
• Thousands of new jobs in next decade – including more than 1500 in Liverpool in 2011
Following an intensive study to determine the future Jaguar Land Rover strategy for both brands and a period of negotiation with trade unions representing its workforce, Jaguar Land Rover is pleased to confirm that a landmark pay and conditions settlement has been reached.
The agreement, which trade unions representing the Jaguar Land Rover workforce will unanimously recommend to their members, sees Jaguar Land Rover revising its plans to consolidate manufacturing operations. Subject to employees endorsing this deal over the next few weeks, Jaguar Land Rover will now retain three plants in the UK – at Castle Bromwich, Solihull and Halewood – building Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles. This will lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs in Britain over the next decade as Jaguar Land Rover invests billions of pounds in the UK and significantly increases both the number of models in its range as well as overall global volumes.
"This is a triumph for all concerned," said Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ralf Speth. "We have ambitious plans for growth and the success of our products around the world and this agreement will allow us to accelerate and realize those plans.
"The agreement is a great deal for our workers and the company and we can now really get on with working together to achieve an even more exciting future for the Jaguar and Land Rover brands," added Dr Speth. "We have already started by
beginning to hire 1500 new employees to support the launch of the new Range Rover Evoque at our award-winning Halewood factory in Liverpool.
"Our parent company Tata supported us through the recession and our employees also made sacrifices but now we are seeing a great turnaround in the business and everyone involved – our employees; our customers and our Tata shareholders – will benefit from this agreement. This is truly the beginning of a new era for Jaguar Land Rover."
The terms of the agreement include a pay rise of 5% for employees in November this year with a further rise of at least 3% next November. New hires in the manufacturing plants will come in on lower rates of pay and receive lower shift premiums, increasing flexibility. Existing employees are unaffected. There will also be an extension of performance related pay for salaried employees.