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Jaguar Land Rover says ready for any suppliers' strike

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Jaguar Land Rover Plc, owned by India's giant Tata group, said Monday it is ready to deal with any disruption at its British plants if employees of delivery partner DHL go on strike.

DHL's logistics workers at Jaguar's plants in Britain have voted to strike to push their demands for significantly higher pay.

DHL workers -- who deliver parts to the carmaker's production lines and often work closely with JLR workers -- are demanding a rise in salaries and similar terms and conditions to put them on the same contractual footing as JLR employees.

"We are preparing for a potential disruption (of production). We have plans in place should that situation arise," a JLR spokesman told AFP in India's financial hub Mumbai.

DHL has about 1,800 workers at JLR's three main factories at Castle Bromwich and Solihull in the Midlands and at Halewood on Merseyside.

The spokesman, speaking as Jaguar launched its sports convertible, the F-Type in India, declined to disclose JLR's production capacity at these factories.

Variants of the F-Type vehicle will sell for as much as 16.1 million rupees ($264,000) in India.

JLR has urged the workers at DHL, part of German-based delivery giant Deutsche Post, to return to negotiations to reach "a satisfactory outcome for all parties".

Jaguar India reported a 68 percent rise in sales in the first quarter of this fiscal year, JLR's India vice-president Rohit Suri said, declining to give the number of units sold.

Tata Motors, also maker of the world's cheapest car the Nano, bought Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motor in 2008 for $2.3 billion as part of plans to expand its reach beyond Asia.

The deal vaulted Tata Motors from a commercial vehicle and small-car maker into a global player with luxury brands in its range of offerings.

JLR now accounts for around three-quarters of Tata Motor's group revenues and the bulk of its profits.

Tata Motors shares fell by up to nearly five percent on investor worries that a strike could hurt sales at its JLR unit, but recovered some of their losses to close down 2.7 percent at 288.2 rupees.

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