The Great Debate UK
- Professor David Bailey works at Coventry University Business School. The views expressed are his own -
The UK operations of Jaguar Land Rover lost £673.4m last year after a £640 million surplus the year before, it was revealed last week in accounts filed with Companies House. Adding in actuarial and pensions adjustments, “total recognised losses” at JLR topped almost £1.2bn last year. Not that this is much of a surprise of course. This is a “once in a century” downturn as JLR boss David Smith put it, and most car makers have posted record losses – including Toyota, for the time in its history.
JLR has announced the cessation of X-type production at Halewood at the end of this year, leaving a huge question mark over the viability of the Halewood plant. On current volumes (without the X type) it is difficult to see how JLR can keep open three UK plants.
To keep Halewood operating (which at full capacity is a very efficient plant), the LRX Range Rover concept vehicle needs the green light soon for development and production. This means accessing the EIB loan of £340 million which is already on the table from Europe.