View Full Version : Ford threatens to close Solihull plant

09-02-2004, 06:21 PM
An item of news on the radio this morning:

Ford HQ has given the local management and unions at their Solihull, U.K. plant until Wednesday 8th September to come up with a revised plan to lift quality and efficiency, after rejecting an initial proposal. If an acceptable plan is not forthcoming, Ford have threatened to close the plant. The plant employs 8,000 workers.

Why is this relevant to Volvo and the XC50 in particular?

Solihull is where Landrovers (Rangie, Discovery and Freelander) are made. Despite the popularity of Landrover vehicles, Ford has never made a profit from Landrover since buying it in 1997. Depending on whether Landrover is shutdown or simply moved offshore, this may well affect whether the XC50 uses the Freelander platform or the V50 platform as its basis.

09-04-2004, 01:14 PM
It is true that sound travels slower than light. This story hit our airwaves about a week ago and while we are on this subject there was also a mention that Jaguar are to stop producing about 8 or 16000 units in the UK because the Americans are not buying them. Jobs are all suppose to be OK. :confused: I would be worried about my job. :mad:

Isn't it funny that both of these companies are owned by FORD :rolleyes:

First with XC News
09-04-2004, 02:12 PM
Jaguar is to assemble 15,000 cars, 11% fewer than originally planned, between now and the end of the year.

Jaguar has confirmed that none of its 8,000 manufacturing staff will lose their jobs, but hours would be cut with a Friday shut-down at the Brown’s Lane, Allesley and Halewood plants, affecting the S- and X-Type, the XJ and XK models.

Strengthening competition and the adverse dollar-sterling exchange rate have hit Jaguar’s US sales, which account for over half total output. Its US sales were 24% lower in July 2004 than July 2003.

David Osborne, T&G National Secretary for the car industry, said: "It is a tragedy that Jaguar are having to cut production at their most efficient plants in the Ford group."

Tony Murphy, Amicus National Officer for the automotive industry, said: "The news is disappointing but we're happy that the company has looked at minimising the impact on workers rather than instantly looking to cut jobs. They are going to use some of the down time to carry out maintenance work and provide extra training for workers which will benefit both the company and the workers.

"The three UK Jaguar plants are among the most productive and efficient in the world with a first-class reputation for quality. We just hope that demand in the US market will pick up soon and that the UK plants can weather the storm."

09-07-2004, 12:07 PM
Jaguar used to have a terrible reputation over on this side of the pond; essentially for being extremely unreliable. I understand that has changed under Ford. The exchange rate is an issue, no question. But Land Rover is now in the same situation Jaguar was years ago - the cars are perceived as poorly built and unreliable. As an expat Brit I am hoping that jobs will be saved. Volvo is the only brand in Ford's Premier Group that's in the black, all the other are losing money.

10-24-2004, 02:20 PM
I would be worried about my job. :mad:

Isn't it funny that both of these companies are owned by FORD :rolleyes:
Its a sad story but not unlike for to pull something like this, it would be great if Volvo were to be owned by someone else. Volvo cars were certainly better by general comparison in the pre-Ford era...

Next thing ya know, American market Volvos will be built in Mexico and will reek like funky burritos at the dealers :rolleyes: Hopefully not for now though...