Fleet News

Rover's export plan backfires as jobs go

ROVER'S decision to move away from fast-cycle fleet business and increase exports has backfired, with the manufacturer blaming the strength of Sterling for this week's decision to lay off 1,500 workers.

The origin of the crisis can be traced back three years, when Rover decided to turn its back on rapid-churn fleet business and instead target the export market. However, the company stresses that its current fleet business is more profitable for the company and that it is the strength of the pound that has scuppered the plan, and put thousands of jobs within the company's 39,000-strong workforce on the line.

Chief executive and Rover Group chairman, Dr Walter Hasselkus, said: 'We have been protected from the effects of the strong pound by forward buying of currency, but this protection cannot last forever. The time has come when we must take action.'

The axing of 1,500 Rover jobs will come mostly through early retirement or voluntary redundancy, and plans to employ 1,000 extra staff have been scrapped while 900 workers on short-term contracts will not have them renewed. Talks are under way between the company and trade unions following the announcement and Rover's introduction of a four-day working week.

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