Jaguar Land Rover exec to quit next year

Luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover yesterday said the boss of its Jaguar arm is leaving next year as the company continues to review the future of its UK manufacturing operations.

Jaguar Land Rover said the managing director of Jaguar Cars, Mike O’Driscoll, 54, will retire at the end of March 2011 after 35 years with the company. O’Driscoll took up his post in 2007 after Ford announced the sale of Jaguar and Land Rover to Indian group Tata. Tata named Ralf Speth as the new chief executive of the unit in February.

Last year, Tata announced a review of the future of its Land Rover and Jaguar plants at Solihull and Castle Bromwich in the West Midlands, where it employs about 7,000 people.

A plant at Halewood on Merseyside, which has been chosen to make Land Rover’s new Evoque model, is unaffected by the review. A spokesman said the firm had not yet made any decisions about the future of the factories or a successor to O’Driscoll. “We don’t have any news at this time,” he said.

Meanwhile, rival marque Aston Martin – which was also owned by Ford and was sold to an investment group in 2007 – said it planned to start making a new city car next year.