Jaguar’s ageing Castle Bromwich factory is in line for £200 million investment – including a new body shop and model replacements – if efficiency plans can be met.
The much-needed investment would secure the long-term future of the Birmingham factory indefinitely, less than two years after it was facing closure.
But a major new efficiency drive, including Saturday working, drugs and alcohol tests and widespread labour cost savings, is being demanded to guarantee the crucial investment from Indian owner Tata.
A joint New Product Proposal document drawn up by unions and management and obtained by the Post outlines the “longer term strategies required to make Castle Bromwich a genuine world-class plant”.
The document, which is subject to a shopfloor ballot, states: “All parties are supportive of this agreement and of plans to re-energise and redevelop the Castle Bromwich site and commit to continuous improvement.
“We share the view that investment and increased volume is required for the long-term sustainability of the plant.”
But it is understood that the £200 million could be withdrawn from Castle Bromwich if workers reject the efficiency drive in the current ballot.
A highly-placed source said: “They need to get the competitiveness and efficiency of the plant up. If that can be achieved and everybody agrees on the way forward, the plant will stay open indefinitely. We are talking here about more efficient ways of working. They want to have a new blueprint going forward – there are a lot of old agreements concerning Castle Bromwich.
“But the £200 million investment is not cut and dried – this money could yet go to Halewood, for example.”
Unions have already publicly thrown their weight behind Tata’s Castle Bromwich efficiency drive to help safeguard the long-term future of the factory.
Des Quinn, Unite regional official, said: “The Unite union members at the Jaguar Castle Bromwich plant have always been forward-thinking and we remain confident that our members will make the right decision for the sake of the long-term future of the plant.
“We want the business to grow, we want further investment, we want further top quality jobs for the region.”
The internal document states: “It is agreed that global changes impact the market faster than ever before, and the need to develop and move to a flexible manufacturing system is essential. Since 2009, the plant has changed line rates 47 times to adjust to market demands to the detriment of quality and workforce morale.”