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#280969 - 6th Jan 2009 7:18pm ECHO campaign: Support our car workers
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TODAY the ECHO launches a campaign to win government support for our motor industry in the face of the worst economic downturn in 80 years.

Knowsley’s Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) plant and the Vauxhall site in Ellesmere Port have been hit by falling car sales as consumers postpone purchases, fearful for their jobs and savings.

Each site employs about 2,200 staff all affected by the downturn in sales through non-production weeks and extra time off over the traditional Christmas shutdown to avoid surplus stocks of Jaguar X-Type, Freelander 2 and Astra models.

Vauxhall’s US parent company General Motors is undergoing restructuring to win government funding to see it through the worst economic period in its History.

General Motors’ UK and European operations are on a $750m cost-cutting drive this year. But UK managers say the Ellesmere Port plant will continue manufacturing until September when the latest Astra model is due to roll off the production lines, resulting in a return to three-shift working and, hopefully, attracting new customers.

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#283959 - 15th Jan 2009 1:22am Jaguar Land Rover announce 450 job cuts nationwide [Re: ]
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JAGUAR Land Rover today announced 300 job cuts among its managers and 150 redundancies from its salaried agency staff.

Car bosses also said that no bonuses will be paid to managers this year and their pay review will be postponed until October 2009.

The cuts will be spread across JLR’s three manufacturing plants in the West Midlands and Halewood, its Gaydon headquarters in Warwickshire and an engineering plant in Coventry.

A spokeswoman said there are no targets for individual sites and the company hopes to achieve as many cuts as possible through voluntary redundancies.

JLR chief executive David Smith said today: “It is only right and proper that our response to the impact of the credit crunch and severe reduction in demand includes actions across all grades and functions in the company.

“We don’t expect sales conditions to return to normal levels for some time.

“If we are to continue to fund and invest in the products and technology that we will need to be successful when customer demand picks up again after the recession then we have to improve our efficiency and costs to improve our ability to respond to the marketplace.”

He added: “It is critical that JLR becomes a more efficient and dynamic organisation to face up to the challenges that we will meet in the years ahead.”

The Halewood plant in Knowsley has already cut 170 temporary and agency staff and the group is seeking 598 voluntary redundancies among production workers across all manufacturing sites.

A campaign for government support to help JLR ride the recession is currently being waged by the ECHO, sister paper the Daily Post and midlands stablemates the Birmingham Post and Mail and Coventry Telegraph.

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