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Report: Brown's Lane Jaguar plant will close, despite denials

According to a Midlands paper, Ford has already told the Government of plans to close Brown's Lane - plans Sir Nick Scheele denied at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Writing in today's Birmingham Post, reporter James O'Brien says 'impeccable' Ford sources have confirmed that only the date of the closure of Jaguar's oldest and under-invested plant, Brown's Lane, is uncertain, and that the company has notified the Department of Trade and Industry of its intentions.

Industry Minister Jacqui Smith and a DTI official have both denied any formal notification from Ford, and Ford itself has described the report,as in past forecasts of Brown's Lane's demise, as "speculation".Brown's Lane has some 1,600 employees, many of them of long standing.

The Birmingham Post says the burden of the unprofitable plant - and Jaguar itself - on Ford is being used as a stick to beat Ford president and COO Sir Nick Scheele, who was Jaguar's chairman for seven years before moving to Ford in the wake of Jacques Nasser's removal from the CEO position.

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