pounds 43m aid brings Baby Jag to Halewood
Tuesday 03 February 1998
Margaret Beckett, President of the Board of Trade, announced a pounds 43m tranche of public money to secure the commitment of Ford to build its Jaguar X400 at Halewood rather than overseas.
The investment will safeguard 2,900 existing jobs and hold out the prospect of a further 500 posts by the year 2002. More than 100,000 cars a year are scheduled to roll off new assembly lines with 80 per cent earmarked for export.
Ford had threatened to build the "Baby Jag", which will compete with BMW series 3 and Mercedes C-class cars, in the US or Germany. Nick Scheele, Jaguar chairman and chief executive, said pounds 43m covered the difference between building in the UK as opposed to abroad, where no subsidies would have been needed.
But Mr Scheele said there was no question that Halewood was less productive or efficient than plants in Germany. The extra costs covered the amount of work needed to transform the Merseyside plant.
The decision to use Halewood is a big boost to a factory which for many years had a troubled history of labour problems and quality control. Scheele said its industrial relations record had improved dramatically: "The workforce has a lot of pride."
Tony Blair, speaking directly to employees at the plant via a satellite link from 10 Downing Street, said: "It demonstrates once again that international car companies recognise that Britain is a highly competitive place to build cars."
Meanwhile a huge recruitment drive is under way as part of the pounds 122m programme to expand the network of Land Rover dealers across the country. The company owned by BMW of Germany, hopes to create 1,200 new jobs as it increases the number of outlets from 123 to 135.
Land Rover's network of independent dealers will put up the pounds 122m, which will be spent on upgrading existing facilities as well as opening new ones. Land Rover sales are expected to double next year following the launch of the new Freelander model.
- 1 2015 General Election: Green party will not appear in TV debate alongside Ukip – says BBC
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £23250 Per Annum pro rata: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pro rata ...
£40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...
£45,000 - £65,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is a well-known APAC Corporate and...
£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...