Five Trinity Mirror regional papers have launched a joint campaign to persuade the Government to come to the rescue of British car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover.
The Coventry Telegraph, Birmingham Post and Mail and Liverpool Post and Echo joined forces today to campaign on behalf of the 15,000 JLR employees based at plants in Solihull and Castle Bromwich in the West Midlands and Halewood on Merseyside.
Jaguar and Land Rover were sold by Ford to Indian company Tata for £1.15bn last summer. But its new owner has warned of financial difficulties following the collapse of the car market and a lack of available credit.
The five papers have lodged an online e-petition on the Downing Street website urging the Government to provide “targeted assistance” to Jaguar Land Rover in the form of a loan to help it “weather the credit crisis and retain its central role at the heart of the UK’s automotive and manufacturing industries”.
Birmingham Post editor Marc Reeves said the joint campaign was one of the most important to have been launched by the title in its 150-year history.
“Today, we urge the government to act to help our car industry compete on a level playing field in the global market,” Reeves wrote in a front-page piece today.
“Without access to credit, JLR and others in the automotive industry will simply run out of the fuel they need to power their operations.
“In the worst case, this could lead to the demise of significant players in the sector – and certainly to the loss of thousands of jobs.”
He added: “Businesses creating the value that fuels the real economy should not be left to whither while bailed-out banks sit on public money.”