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Land Rover hopeful of end to job cuts at Solihull

Land Rover believes manning levels at its Solihull plant has reached its optimum and it can stop its redundacy programme.

Since Ford bought the company from BMW last July, it has been investing in production facilities at the plant in a drive to increase efficiency and productivity, replacing ageing machinery.

By the end of 2001 the investment will top £130m.

Throughout the year Land Rover has been running a series of redundancy programmes, which have seen headcount fall by 200-250 at a time.

A total of 1,300 workers have taken voluntary redundancy.

A Land Rover spokeswoman said: “The headcount is probably where we want it. We have a small redundancy programme running now, for about 200 workers, which will leave the workforce at an optimum of 8,200.

“Throughout the year we have been reviewing the business and put in new equipment to improve efficiency.”

In February Land Rover was forced to make 200 workers redundant and cut Freelander production because of a shortage of engines, supplied by BMW, and cut production from three-shifts to two. All these redundancies were voluntary.

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