Wednesday, September 30, 1998 Published at 08:06 GMT 09:06 UK
Business: The Company File
Rover jobs under threat
Rover workers are bracing themselves for further job losses
Rover bosses have warned that the strength of sterling could mean further job losses at the firm's largest car plant.
Rover - owned by the German giant BMW - has already announced 1,500 job cuts at Longbridge, which makes the 200 and 400 and the MGF sports car.
Speaking at the Paris Motor Show Mr Pischetsrieder said: "We must differentiate between what's necessary in the short term and right in the long run.
"But it is clear that short-term measures are required in England."
He said: "Nothing has been decided yet, but the pound is hurting us, and there are lots of options we are looking at.
"It could mean further cuts, it could mean longer holidays."
The spokesman said the strong pound was damaging Rover in both the domestic and export markets.
Unions call for cut in interest rates
Following Rover's announcement a senior union leader called on the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee to cut interest rates.
Roger Lyons, general secretary of the Manufacturing Science & Finance Union, warned that more British jobs will be lost and more factories will close if no cut is made.
He said: "Common sense dictates urgent action."
Rover is not the only car manufacturer that is suffering.
Car giant Ford recently announced is putting its biggest UK factory on a four-day week because of a fall in exports.
Two shifts at the Dagenham plant in Essex will not produce cars for seven weeks from tomorrow.
Tories attack tide of job losses
Shadow trade and industry secretary John Redwood meanwhile condemned the Government's handling of the economic situation.
"Another day, another manufacturing disaster. Rover's decision to make more people redundant and to move to short-time working shows how serious the problem is," he said.
"Meanwhile, Mr Blair does nothing. He tells us that Europe is coming our way. All we can see is our jobs going Europe's way."
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