Jaguar Land Rover’s importance to the West Midlands has been spelled out as business minister Lord Mandelson considers a rescue package for the embattled UK car industry. The Indian-owned company is critical for the future of the region, according to Mick Laverty, chief executive of development agency Advantage West Midlands. And JLR chief executive David Smith urged the government to support the industry’s “jewel in the crown” with funds to help it to survive the recession and credit crisis. Mr Laverty and Mr Smith were speaking at a round table meeting held at a Birmingham restaurant that was hosted by government manufacturing adviser Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, head of the Warwick Manufacturing Group. He claimed that JLR would have “gone into thin air” in the present crisis had Ford sold it to private equity interests instead of Tata Motors of […]
A faltering auto giant whose brands are synonymous with the open road. Hundreds of thousands of unionized workers with powerful political backers. An urgent plea for the government to write a virtual blank check. This is not the story of Ford and General Motors, but British Leyland, a car company that went through £11 billion of inflation-adjusted British taxpayer money, or $16.5 billion, in the ’70s and ’80s before going out of business. All that is left of the company now are memories of cars like the Triumph, and a painful lesson in the limited effectiveness of bailouts.