The Midlands needs Government action, not words, if the problems of Jaguar Land Rover are not to develop into a
full-blown crisis according to the West Midlands Business Council.
Glyn Pitchford, elected WMBC business representative on the City Region board, said he did not believe Ministers were paying sufficient attention to the plight of the auto industry.
And the Council is also unhappy at the continued delay in publishing the £16 million report into MG Rover.
The report, which has taken four years to complete, is being considered by the Serious Fraud Office – a hold-up which Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has suggested will be days rather than months.
But a sceptical Mr Pitchford insisted: “We want to see it as soon as possible.”
Of the Jaguar situation, he said business was “very concerned” and desperate to see JLR survive.
“You can see the quality of work in the new XJ saloon – we need it to be a secure company. “We need the Government to come out and provide the support in terms of loan guarantees that they need. The Government forever talks about things and then nothing happens. They need to stop talking about JLR; we want to see action.”
Mr Pitchford’s comments were backed by Birmingham-based Network Recruitment Partnership which cautioned that the fate of Jaguar Land Rover was a major worry.
The consultancy, which supplies technical and specialist staff to the auto industry, said significant job losses would be a huge blow to the industry.
Robert Wigley, a director of NRP, highlighted how JLR owner Tata was now openly warning that job losses and plant shutdowns, either temporary or permanent, were possible if help failed to materialise.
“It is being openly speculated that now the new XJ has been launched and once the August holidays are out of the way, some sort of showdown is on the cards.
“Despite Tata’s financial backing the fear is that JLR is gradually running out of money,” added Mr Wigley.