Jaguar Land Rover made a profit of £55m in the last three months of 2009 after a loss of £60m in the previous quarter. The company's owner, India's Tata Motors, said it had bounced back due to stronger market conditions. It added that its range of new models had helped its performance. It added that its range of new models had helped its performance. Sales jumped 68% from a year earlier to more than 165,000 models, with most of the growth coming from Russia, Europe, North America and China.
Tata, which bought the business from Ford in 2008, said cost-cutting also boosted results and it plans to make further changes. Tata said it had received a £340m loan from the European Investment Bank to finance research into more energy-efficient car bodies.
Jaguar Land Rover employs 14,500 staff in the UK but Tata is deciding whether to shut its factory at Castle Bromwich in the West Midlands, which makes Jaguars, or the site at Solihull, which makes Range Rovers. It does, though, plan to create up to 800 new jobs at Halewood on Merseyside, where a new Range Rover will be built. Jaguar Land Rover, which employs around 2,000 people at its Halewood plant, said sales of its 4x4 brand stood at 13,295 in January, up 219% on the same month in 2009. The rise in sales is good news for Halewood, which builds the Land Rover Freelander 2 and is set to start building the new LRX 'baby' Range Rover next year.
The company wants to trim the wages of new employees by 20%, and close its final salary pension scheme to new members. Talks with unions over pay and pensions recently broke down. Earlier this month the company's chief executive, David Smith, stood down although the company said his departure was not linked to the recent talks breakdown.
Under the guidance of new boss Carl-Peter Forster, Jaguar and Land Rover will work closely together to cut the range of vehicle platforms from six to two in the next few years. The move will see the unlikely scenario of the next-generation Range Rover luxury SUV sharing the aluminum spaceframe 'architecture' of the recently revealed 2010 Jaguar XJ sedan. It is believed that the XJ’s platform doesn’t have to be too extensively modified for application in the new Range Rover. It has been suggested that the floor and front crash structure will remain the same but that the bulkheads, front and rear, will be made taller for the Range Rover. To cope with the off-road suspension there will be taller front strut towers to accommodate the taller ride height and wheel articulation. The second platform that will be used by both Jaguar and Land Rover for its future models will be a modified Ford C1 platform. The conventional steel structure will be available in three different lengths and suitable for new models such as the next-generation LR2.