October 28, 2014
British automaker Jaguar Land Rover is introducing a work placement program that aims to find employment for wounded, injured and sick service members.
The initiative builds upon the brand's sponsorship of the Invictus Games, a summit for injured veterans to compete in various physical events. Jaguar Land Rover strives to create a somewhat symbiotic relationship with its home country, supplying jobs and other resources in exchange for reputation and heritage.
"There are many companies that hire wounded warriors, and this is a great benefit to those that protect our freedom," said Lauren Fix, automotive expert, Lancaster, NY.
"It is more than just a PR move the Jaguar has decided to join the ranks of such wonderful companies as USAA and others," she said.
"This is a very smart move and it was also great promotional tool so they're only winners in this action."
Ms. Fix is not affiliated with Jaguar Land Rover, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Jaguar Land Rover did not respond by press deadline.
Jaguar Land Rover sponsored the first Invictus Games Sept. 10-14 that gave sick or wounded service members the opportunity to compete in a number of sports.
Three hundred veterans from 13 nations competed in eight events ranging from archery to swimming. Elevating these competitors to an international stage will likely help to spread awareness about the many challenges facing veterans when returning from active duty (see story).
Invictus Games training and publicity event with Prince Harry
Now, the brand is aiming to have a more enduring impact on the lives of these men and women.
The employment program was developed with Mission Motorsport, the Armed Forces' motor sport charity, and the MoD's Recovery Career Services.
Servicemen and women will receive skills training and opportunities to reenter the job market.
The program is a natural fit for many of the candidates due to the discipline and skills training they received while in the military.
A preliminary program was launched last year and resulted in numerous jobs being secured.
Ultimately, the initiative is an effective way for Jaguar Land Rover to show its dedication to its home country by aiding an often neglected demographic.
Also, providing solid jobs is often viewed as a victory by citizens in a depressed economy.
The right fit
Other automakers have made a commitment to veterans.
For instance, Audi of America is helping those who served in the United States military with a program for skilled technicians to work in its dealerships.
The new “Veterans to Technicians” program aids veterans in finding employment and allows the German automaker to maintain its high quality of craftsmanship. Since Audi is looking to break its record sales in the U.S. this year, the automaker is looking for the best employees to help get it there (see story).
Jaguar Land Rover is looking to bolster its reputation in other parts of the world.
The automaker is increasing its presence in China with its first overseas manufacturing facility in the city of Changshu.
Jaguar Land Rover's joint Chinese-British automotive plant will be operated with the Chinese manufacturer Chery Automobile Company. By 2016, the facility is slated to produce 130,000 vehicles per year (see story).
Joe McCarthy, staff writer on Luxury Daily, New York