By on June 1, 2010


Over the next few years, life in the UK is going to be pretty – austere. The Centre-Right government has been in power barely a month, and already they’ve slashed the budget by £6.2 billion. That was just the scalpel, wait till the axe comes. So, with a possible second recession in the offing, it’s time for some good news. And here it is…

The BBC reports that Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is going to start assembling their vehicles in China. “We will need to manufacture at least 2 models in China,” said Carl-Peter Forster, JLR’s Chief Executive. “We’ll take 1 to 2 years to set it up, first we’ll need a partner.” That’s right, JLR isn’t above Chinese law, and they have to look for a Chinese joint venture partner. Then, the joint venture needs to be approved by the government. (Not that they usually are against it.)

Why China? Jags and Land Rovers are moving. Much of the growth came from China, where Jaguar sales rose 38 percent and Land Rover sales rose 55 percent during the year. India is also strong.

Mr Forster was quick to quell any fears that going to China might take any work from the UK based factories. Despite the growth in China and India, Forster said that either countries would “never be the centre for Jaguar Land Rover, it will remain in the UK. Most of the volume growth in these markets will benefit the UK operations”. Aha. By the way, JLR will produce Land Rovers in India next year.

At the same time, Forster is pushing for the closure of one of the factories in the UK, in the name of the almighty efficiency: “We are talking about having one efficient operation rather than 2 inefficient operations said Mr Forster, “We are not necessarily talking about getting rid of people.” Not necessarily?

An extra 1,000 jobs will be created in the UK – temporary jobs. Forster had an answer for that, too: “It takes a year or two before the jobs become permanent,”. With last financial year sales for JLR at 193,982 and with JLR expecting to top 200,000, the future looks rosy for JLR in Carl-Peter Forster’s eyes.

Forster has more ambitious plans. He wants to defy Newton. “The centre of gravity for the European auto industry is on the Continent and we have to pull the centre of gravity towards the UK.”

Start pulling, Pete! Anything that boosts exports and secures jobs for the UK is good in my eyes. With the upcoming budget cuts the UK faces, any foreign money is welcome. Even if Mao’s head is on it.

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13 Comments on “Jaguars. Soon Made in China...”


  • avatar
    mythicalprogrammer

    $54 bucks a month in China. Yeah, it sucks man, but that’s the draw back for globalization.

    Speaking of Jaguar, they should continue their aluminum chassis!

  • avatar

    Two notes:

    1. Most of the time, whenever someone mentions “jobs” that are “created”, it is utter nonsense. It’s a bogus economic metric that liberal politicians were hoisting on the poor who do not know better. What matters is the creation of wealth, not jobs. If some sucker in India wants to take my job, it means I am free to get myself a better one, as long as the conditions for wealth creation are maintained in this society. Policies aimed at “securing UK jobs” are going to do just one thing: make UK less competitive.

    2. Cessna 162 is made in China completely and the quality is impeccable. So whatever, the implication is not working anymore.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    “Don’t worry, our China production plans are all about expansion and will not result in any job losses at home.” That is, until the next crisis/CEO/moon-phase comes along.

  • avatar
    mpresley

    England is well on the way to Third World heaven. It may already be there, it’s just that we don’t know it yet. If the Chinese don’t take over JLR and start buying them domestically, it’s all over for the brand. Jaguar, for all their pitiful mechanical/electrical workmanship, at least used to look like Jaguars. So at least they had that going for them. Now they could be mistaken for Lexi. And there’s no place in Africa that’s safe to take a Land Rover, anymore, so what’s the point?

  • avatar
    scottcom36

    So higher taxes and more regulations would have made them more likely to keep production in England?

  • avatar
    carguy

    “…they’ve slashed the budget by £6.2 billion. That was just the scalpel, wait till the axe comes.”

    When a government stops spending money they don’t have they should be applauded. This way the UK won’t look like Greece in a few years time.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    OK a few points TTAC glossed over. JLR ALSO announced:

    - New Jaguar X type replacement to be made in the UK

    - New Jaguar sports car to be made in the UK

    - New Mid sized Range Rover to be made in the UK

    - New baby Range Rover to be made in the UK

    That 4 models to ADD to the line up. The whole reason JLR is closing one plant in the West Mids is because the can put all the work into the other nearby plant. This way the can keep staffing levels about the same and just move workers from one line to another when work slows on a line.

    The cars they are making in China will be based on the LR2 and will not be available for export. No production is actually being removed from the UK as such.

    TTAC is being a bit selective with the truth about JLR. Either that or they don’t understand UK geography and don’t read press releases correctly.

    Come on TTAC write your articles correctly. Even the Chinese press reported this more acurately!

    • 0 avatar
      Cammy Corrigan

      “That 4 models to ADD to the line up. The whole reason JLR is closing one plant in the West Mids is because the can put all the work into the other nearby plant. This way the can keep staffing levels about the same and just move workers from one line to another when work slows on a line.”

      Then you must have missed this paragraph whereby I mention Carl Peter Forster’s quote about having one efficient operation and not two inefficient ones.

      “At the same time, Forster is pushing for the closure of one of the factories in the UK, in the name of the almighty efficiency: “We are talking about having one efficient operation rather than 2 inefficient operations said Mr Forster, “We are not necessarily talking about getting rid of people.” Not necessarily?”
      The cars they are making in China will be based on the LR2 and will not be available for export. No production is actually being removed from the UK as such.”

      Then you must have missed this paragraph whereby I mention Carl Peter Forster’s quote about this growth benefiting UK operations.

      “Mr Forster was quick to quell any fears that going to China might take any work from the UK based factories. Despite the growth in China and India, Forster said that either countries would “never be the centre for Jaguar Land Rover, it will remain in the UK. Most of the volume growth in these markets will benefit the UK operations”.

      “TTAC is being a bit selective with the truth about JLR. Either that or they don’t understand UK geography and don’t read press releases correctly.”

      This came from a BBC report (there’s a clue in the article) not a press release.

  • avatar

    As a side note the exotic alloys that go into something like a Jaguar are something the Indians are just starting to get proficient with, even though they have a rich tradition of metalworking in India.

    Only recently (within the past 10 years) have the Chinese moved into the domain above fancy steel alloys, the trickier brass, higher bronze alloys and modern zinc stuff into higher grades of aluminum. They are attempting titanium currently, but its still early in the game for them.

    I am mostly talking about finished – consumer grade parts for both countries. Clearly no shortage of ambition in either country – but can they deliver? It will be fascinating to watch the success and failures of these nations as they develop, for sure.

    Here is my main point though: an important distinction needs to be made right quick, because the article could be misleading. Just as U.S. and British gallons are different and are responsible for totally screwball-high MPG’s over there (but! but! in Europe they have cars that get 75MPG and we have… Wahhh!), so are the dots on the political scale.

    The current European center(e) right is what an American would call a (pre-y2k) Democrat. In other words, the European center-right would normally be considered our center-left here in America.

    Many Americans are unaware of this. Good, bad or otherwise, weather we like it or not – this is simply how it is. Of course thee targets wobble on both scales depending on who is in power…

    If a stupid Texan like me can understand this, it should be fairly easy to help others understand this as well. Once again, it is best put to an American that the current politicians in Britain are center-left. The implied rightward lurch in this article does not translate in America if the differences are clearly understood.

    Hopefully this is an appropriate first comment.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Sounds like one more car manufacturer to write off my list.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Wait you ripped a lot of this out of a BBC article? Oh dear…. They aren’t exactly known for being on the ball.

    Autocar and Autoblog have some good coverage on this. They managed to find out that JLR have at least 4 new models coming and that’s before we even count Project Icon (the Defender replacement).

    To be fair about the TTAC article, it’s more the tone of it I disagree with than anything else. Why not mention the list of new models JLR will be building and the 1 billion dollars a year TATA have said they will inject into JLR’s operations to build new models.

    Someone reading this might take a lot of negative vibes away, but the truth is the future for JLR is looking more rosey now than it ever has. That deserves a mention. As does the fact that JLR quickly returned to profit, with very little in the way of government handouts.

    Why didn’t TTAC mention the four or five new models? Bet you won’t answer that….

    • 0 avatar
      Cammy Corrigan

      I didn’t mention the four or five models because it wasn’t really relevant. The fact is, JLR are growing and I’m pleased. Both for the UK and JLR. If you read TTAC, you’ll known I’m a huge JLR fan (my avatar is a clue). However, healthy scepticism is a need for working at TTAC. Remember, CEO and chief executives always like to spin things.

      Also, for the record, Tata were angling for government loans.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7789055.stm

  • avatar

    The news just keeps getting better… or worse, depending on which continent you live in.

    Mr. Ratan Tata is a silent raider, he is doing a Daimler-Chrysler without the German arrogance. Unfortunately for the British, JLR is on its way to being an Asian carmarker. Tsk, tsk… hopefully Mr. Tata didn’t take his grandfather’s view of the British Empire to heart…

    “Jaguar-Land Rover to soon run on Tata Motors engineering”

    The move to marry engine operations is the brainchild of the new leadership team at Tata Motors under Carl-Peter Forster, which has been vocal about the increased importance of India and China in the future of JLR.

    A Tata Motors spokesman confirmed the move to jointly develop engines. “As India is a preferred source of production, we’ll source the engines here with the design left for the JLR team,” he said.

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/auto/automobiles/Jaguar-Land-Rover-to-soon-run-on-Tata-Motors-engineering/articleshow/5996626.cms


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