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By Bradford Wernle
Automotive News Europe

As Land Rover introduced its Range Stormer concept vehicle here this week, workers at its Solihull, England, factory were upping the ante in their pay dispute with the company.

"Their reaction to our pay offer was a severe disappointment," said Joe Greenwell, CEO of Jaguar-Land Rover.

In December, workers rejected an offer that included a 6.5 percent pay increase. Land Rover workers have said they want pay parity with their counterparts at Jaguar's three British factories.

Jaguar-Land Rover officials workers say the pay is different because the Jaguar workers put in slightly longer hours.

Jaguar-Land Rover has been struggling to improve quality at Solihull. Land Rover vehicles finished near the bottom of a J.D. Power quality survey in the United States last year.

Greenwell said Solihull needs the kind of transformation Jaguar achieved at Halewood, which finished as the top plant in the world in Ford Motor Co.'s own measurement of efficiency.

When it was a Ford Escort factory, Halewood was near the bottom of Ford's global factories.

The Solihull factory is at the top of a long list of items on Greenwell's to-do list. Greenwell said he has spent his first few months on the job "getting to grips with the operating status" of Jaguar-Land Rover.

Greenwell has been talking to his top managers, visiting all factories and spending time in the design studios reviewing future plans.
 
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