GAYDON, Warwickshire, 8 September 2008 – Jaguar Land Rover today welcomed a Government initiative aimed at encouraging and supporting UK manufacturing as being central to Britain’s future prosperity and urged its full implementation.
Prior to announcing their new strategy, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chancellor of the Exchequer Alastair Darling, were accompanied on a fact-finding tour of Jaguar Land Rover’s Castle Bromwich facility in the West Midlands by the strategy’s architects, Secretary of State For Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform John Hutton and Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills John Denham.
David Smith, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We believe the manufacturing sector is central to the future prosperity of the UK economy, and share the Government’s view that manufacturing’s contribution to the UK is significant and not given the recognition it deserves. We therefore welcome this initiative and look forward to its full implementation.
“Jaguar Land Rover is striving to sustain and grow its manufacturing and R&D operations in the UK, but clearly global competition continues to intensify and we have faced considerable pressures from rising energy and commodity prices, combined with reduced consumer demand.
We therefore support actions that underpin UK manufacturing investment and productivity during this difficult period, including the development of trade opportunities with low cost supply chains and actions to support economic growth and reduce input and financing costs,” he added.
Jaguar Land Rover continues to invest heavily in design and environmental technologies, announcing only last year a £700 million investment in developing environmental technologies alone, and fully supports development of the UK’s capability in this area.
“We also welcome the emphasis in this strategy paper on support for design and low carbon R&D and also believe there are further opportunities for investments to directly improve manufacturing industry’s own energy usage and carbon footprint,” Mr Smith added.
During their visit to Castle Bromwich the Prime Minister, Chancellor and Secretaries of State met with Jaguar Land Rover’s new intake of 54 apprentices, who only started their careers with the company last week.
“Manufacturing can only grow and prosper if we attract sufficient numbers of suitably skilled people into the sector, so we especially welcome the proposal to promote manufacturing in schools. Access to training funds to attract, retain and develop the right people in our industry is critical,” Mr Smith said”