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Jaguar : X400 to be build in Halewood

JAGUAR WELCOMES UK GOVERNMENT SUPPORT TO TAKE X400 TO HALEWOOD

Ford, February 2, 1998 - Jaguar today welcomed the £43 million package of UK government support for investment in the production of the luxury car manufacturer’s X400 model at Halewood, Merseyside.

In a unique, live, three way telecast between No.10 Downing Street, Ford’s World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan and the Halewood plant, Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the investment would lead to a quadrupling of Jaguar’s production in Britain and would preserve and ultimately create employment at the plant.

 

Speaking directly to employees at Halewood via the satellite link, Mr. Blair added: "The decision to choose Halewood to build the X400 is a vote of confidence in Merseyside and in Britain. It demonstrates once again that international car companies recognise that Britain is a highly competitive place to build cars."

The £43m aid package was announced by Margaret Beckett, President of the Board of Trade. "Halewood’s success is a tribute to the hard work and excellent performance by employees and management in recent years. Halewood was chosen in the face of stiff competition from Ford plants on the Continent and in the USA."

Mr. Blair and Jaguar’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Nick Scheele, were linked by satellite to Dearborn, where the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Ford Motor Company, Alex Trotman, and the President of Ford Automotive Operations, Jac Nasser, both warmly welcomed the news of the UK Government Grant.

"This is a great day for Jaguar, for the Ford Motor Company, for the employees at Halewood and for Britain," said Mr. Trotman. Thanking Mr. Blair and the UK Government for their support and encouragement for the Halewood project, Mr. Trotman said "These are exciting times for Jaguar. Prospects for the Company have never been stronger."

Pointing out that Ford had invested £3.5 billion in Britain in the past five years, Jac Nasser said that the Ford and Jaguar teams had proved that they could compete with the best the world has to offer. In a message addressed directly to the Halewood plant, he said: "You have earned this new car."

Jaguar Chairman Nick Scheele said that the X400 model was planned for introduction in 2001. "The new car, which will compete in a growing sector of the global car market, will be designed and developed at our Whitley Design Centre in Coventry."