Tata Motors announced today plans to close one of two Central England Januar Land Rover facilities within the next five years. The Indian-based Tata said they will likely close either the Jaguar plant in Castle Bromwich, where 2,000 people work, or the Land Rover plant in Solihull, which houses 5,000 jobs.
The official announcement, and which facility is cut, will be announced by July 2010. The two sites are separated by about eight miles.
It was not all bad news for the two English brands. The company owns a factory in Halewood, Northwest England, which will begin expansion by 2011. That site was chosen to be the home of a diminutive SUV supposedly based on the Land Rover LRX concept, which was confirmed for production today.
2009 has been a particularly bad year for the firm. 2,500 jobs have already been cut at Jaguar Land Rover, while production has been decreased by over 100,000 units in 2009 alone.
The decision to close one of the Central England sites was to stem red ink. Jaguar Land Rover lost about $100 million (pre-tax) in the last quarter. Vehicle sales for the last quarter were down roughly 52% versus the previous year. Because of the decreased demand, the three factories are running at a combined total of less than 60% capacity.
In 2008, Tata paid $2.3 billion to Ford for Land Rover and Jaguar.