Jobs under threat as supplier loses Land Rover contract

SEVERAL hundred manufacturing jobs are under threat at a supplier to Jaguar Land Rover’s Halewood facility after the loss of a major contract.

Merplas, a subsidiary of Canada-based manufacturing company Magna International Inc, supplies bumpers and other moulded plastic components to the car giant, and employs 580 people at its site on the Boundary Business Park.

The company said: “Merplas confirms it has communicated to its employees that a reduction in headcount is being proposed.

“The division has recently been informed by one of its customers that it has sourced supply to another supplier.  Although Merplas has won new business with another customer, it is anticipated that it will not be a full replacement. The division is entering consultations with the recognised trade union and electedemployee representatives, as well as individual employees to develop a viable plan.”

One employee told The Liverpool Echo that the proposal is to cut 200 jobs in early 2015, with the posibility of a further cuts of a similar scale in 2016.

In a statement Jaguar Land Rover said: “Following a review of its exterior production suppliers, the company has made a strategic decision to supply the supply of bumpers and spoilers for its entire model range to a leading global supplier that will be investing in UK production to support Jaguar Land Rover’s long term growth ambitions. “
“This will result in the establishment of a brand new, high tech facility in the North West bringing with it significant investment in the region.  We have given Decoma Merplas as much notice as possible regarding the cessation of our contract with them.”