Engineers at BMW’s engineering centre at Gaydon in Warwickshire faced mounting uncertainty over jobs this week, with trades unions claiming that all 2,000 engineers at the site would be made redundant.
The figures, relating to engineers working on Rover, Land Rover and BMW vehicle projects at the Warwickshire site, were played down by UK BMW officials, who said the firm `did not recognise’ the unions’ forecasts.
The news did nothing to alleviate growing frustration among engineering staff at Gaydon, who early this week had still received no information about their future.
Rumours were circulating that parts of Gaydon would be transferred to Ford, which has bought Land Rover, while other stories suggested that it would be retained by BMW, or that some parts of it would work for the new Alchemy operations.
`Nobody knows,’ said one engineer who asked not to be named. `There has been no briefing and there is no information.’
Insiders said the mood was sombre, but that engineers at least held out the prospect of getting a job with another employer. Projects being developed at Gaydon include the next Range Rover, the new Mini, and the R30, the car that now looks set to become a BMW 2-Series.
Ford is unlikely to finish due diligence investigations to seal the Land Rover deal until some time in the next three months.
There have been no firm numbers yet from Alchemy on how many engineers it will need for its new model programme.