Selling your classic car? It's FREE to list your car on Honest John Classics | No thanks

Jaguar seeks aid from DTI to build new car

30 July 1993


JAGUAR, the luxury car maker owned by Ford, is talking to the Department of Trade and Industry about financial backing to build a new car.  Government help may head off intense speculation that Jaguar plans to move some production overseas, an action likely to spark angry protests from politicians and trade unions.

Jaguar and the DTI are understood to be discussing the size of a grant that could keep the manufacture of a new small car, a rival to BMW's high- volume 5 series, in Britain.  A Jaguar insider said government backing 'could make all the difference', though he said a decision on where to build the new models could be 18 months away.

One of Jaguar's factories, a body plant at Castle Bromwich near Birmingham, is entitled to grant aid under the Government's revised rules for development status areas. The bulk of any investment in a new model would go to a body plant, but would cost tens of millions of pounds. It has not been decided whether to base the car on a Ford body or develop a new one.  Development status areas are entitled to up to 25 per cent of a new project.

While even the new manufacturing-friendly DTI would balk at spending a quarter of any Jaguar investment, the company believes there are positive signs.  Jaguar is spending dollars 1bn on three new models: a saloon being launched next year; an XJS sports car planned for 1996; and the small car, codenamed X200, due to be launched in about 1998.

The 8,000 employees at Jaguar's three plants in the West Midlands have been fearful of their future since Ford took over Jaguar for pounds 1.6bn in 1989. That fear was heightened recently because of visits by Jaguar executives to Ford's US headquarters.

More news from the archive

Wed, 31 Mar 1993
The first production MG RV8 is completed today
Thu, 15 Apr 1993
THE INDEPENDENT JAGUAR is facing a High Court battle over its pounds 415,000 supercar, the XJ220. Some buyers have refused to pay...
Tue, 20 Apr 1993
THE INDEPENDENT   Business and City in Brief Rover 600 to be launched today The Rover 600, the car that replaces the Montego and...
Sun, 27 Jun 1993
THE INDEPENDENT Trevor Taylor, 56, is chief executive of Toyota (GB), the Inchcape-owned UK distributor of Toyota cars and vans. He...
Tue, 13 Jul 1993
By Tom McGhie, DAILY EXPRESS British Aerospace shares took off yesterday on the news that Rover had bucked the Continental trend by...
Thu, 05 Aug 1993
MARY FAGAN, THE INDEPENDENT JAGUAR'S sales in the US soared by 137 per cent in July to 1,083 cars from 457 a year earlier, exceeding...
Thu, 12 Aug 1993
JONATHAN GLANCEY, THE INDEPENDENT The Rover 600 is a triumph of foreign know-how and bolt-on nostalgia. Jonathan Glancey welcomes...
Mon, 16 Aug 1993
BUSINESS WEEK Joseph Rodriguez used to be slow to admit he worked for Rover Group Ltd. After all, he had spent years under car hoods...
Wed, 29 Sep 1993
COMPANY NEWS; Jaguar Recapitalized The Ford Motor Company has recapitalized Jaguar, its British luxury auto subsidiary, by investing...
Thu, 18 Nov 1993
THE GUARDIAN, By Simon Beavis British Aerospace has lost the fight to hold on to one of its key directors with confirmation that George...