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Jaguar tells managers relocate to China or risk promotion


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Jaguar tells managers relocate to China or risk promotion


Jaguar Land Rover has warned some of its most talented UK managers to consider relocating to China or risk being passed over for a promotion to the board.

Jaguar Land Rover reported profit after tax of £238.1m in the three months to September compared to a loss of £60.4m over the same period last year.

By Louisa Peacock, Jobs Editor 6:00AM GMT 16 Nov 2010

Des Thurlby, human resources (HR) director at the international car maker, said he had held "pointed" discussions with up to five of the company's best employees urging them to consider moving "out of leafy Warwickshire" to China to help the company capitalise on emerging markets. Those who refused had less chance of being shortlisted for a future top job at the company, Mr Thurlby said.

The HR director is adopting the controversial stance because the luxury car manufacturer is struggling to convince its best workers to relocate on typically three-year assignments. Those with partners, or children in schools, were often put off the upheaval of moving abroad, he said.

China is now Jaguar Land Rover's third biggest market after the UK and USA. The company, owned by India's Tata Motors, is looking to set up a joint venture deal with a Chinese industrial plant to manufacture tens of thousands of cars a year. However, the plans could be dealt a blow if too few UK executives committed to running the overseas operations.

Mr Thurlby said: "We're getting to the point where we're having some quite pointed conversations with people, where we're saying, 'listen matey, if you want to go to the top you're going to have to go to China, Russia or the US. We're an international business, we're 70pc overseas. It's critical you move out of leafy Warwickshire.'"

When asked whether it was unfair to expect workers to up sticks for career progression, he said: "We're not saying you absolutely will not get to the board, but what we are saying is, this will make you a much stronger candidate and it will make the business better and we'll do everything we can to help you."

Mr Thurlby added that some line managers of the brightest individuals were reluctant to let their best workers relocate abroad for three years. He said he had told the individuals' bosses: "Look, if you really see this person as a board level talent in future they need to work outside of the UK."

Last Tuesday Jaguar Land Rover reported profit after tax of £238.1m in the three months to September compared to a loss of £60.4m over the same period last year, according to Tata. Sales were up 43pc on rising demand for the group's $72,000 (£45,000) Jaguar XJ Sedans in China and the US.



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