back to article Jaguar Land Rover courts coders caught in big tech layoffs

Jaguar Land Rover, the famed UK-based automaker, is looking to fill a long list of tech and engineering vacancies by appealing to victims of the recent round of Silicon Valley layoffs. In a statement published on Friday, the company, owned by Indian conglomerate Tata Group since 2008, said it was looking to fill openings by …

  1. AMBxx Silver badge
    FAIL

    Need more than coders

    Current vehicles are being delivered with no spare key and missing USB charging sockets due to shortage of parts.

    Build specifications changing without notice.

    New Defender leaks and the windscreen cracks if left in the sun (at least the old Defender only leaked).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Need more than coders

      As I said before, I was told about an hour before I posted the above by a Landrover garage that the parts shortage has hit them so hard that their delivery times or something like a year or more and yes, they admitted that the specs of the car that you order might change in that time, as can the price (and no, don't expect it to be less).

      It's a good thingh the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport are so popular (I was there to have a look at the PHEV Sport as it had just arrived) but to be honest, the above put me off. When I spend time creating my spec I do not accept it to be ignored afterwards. I think I'll cart around in my current car for a few years more. It's petrol, but at least I know it works everywhere.

      Or I'll get a KIA EV6 or similar as a local runaround.

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: Need more than coders

        As I said before, I was told about an hour before I posted the above by a Landrover garage that the parts shortage has hit them so hard that their delivery times or something like a year or more and yes, they admitted that the specs of the car that you order might change in that time, as can the price (and no, don't expect it to be less).

        Is this the same Jaguar who came on here to say how great graph databases are for supply chains?

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Need more than coders

          I really don’t get how software is supposed to fix physical shortages.

          1. AMBxx Silver badge

            Re: Need more than coders

            I think that's what all the expensive ERP software is supposed to do - you know, supply chain stuff.

      2. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Need more than coders

        A friend of mine works on the production line of JLR in Solihull, and most of the shifts he's been on have been to clean the place. No cars coming down the production line due to issues sourcing parts.

        You'd have thought that they'd have sorted this by now, but they haven't. I know from another place I worked that JLR tend to have silly agreements with manufacturers which say for every day they don't receive the goods then they owe them a load of money. A lot of manufacturers have fallen in to this trap and ended up being "bought out" by JLR, which also means the manufacturer only provides them with goods.

        It means that there are less manufacturers willing to play that game with JLR, so I think too JLR are struggling to find manufacturers to make the parts in the first place.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Need more than coders

          Ah, that's interesting, thanks for that. The joy of not putting a force majeure clause into a contract. Sigh.

          That said, given the global situation JLR could have done itself a favour by being a bit more gentle with their supply chain because now it has turned into a seller's market. Especially pissed off people have long memories..

          1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

            Re: Need more than coders

            I read that one reason automotive manufacturers in general are having particular problems with electronic supplies is that they have a bad reputation for being overdemanding assholes. And that- in light of shortages and the fact that those manufacturers cancelled their orders as soon as Covid looked like it might be an issue- the chip suppliers et al are focusing on less hassle, more profitable customers who in any event are ahead of them in the queue.

            1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

              Re: Need more than coders

              Quote

              "one reason automotive manufacturers in general are having particular problems with electronic supplies is that they have a bad reputation for being overdemanding assholes."

              I can testify to that, demanding 20 000 parts per month before covid, before stopping production due to covid and we're like "You wanted 20k month and we're gonna deliver and charge you for them" and they're like "Take our terms or we'll go elsewhere when we want parts again"

    2. Gordon 10

      Re: Need more than coders

      Needs coders too.

      My mate has an iPace. Tells me the software is buggy as f*ck, constant OTA updates. Not usual to have to give it the JLR equivalent of a 3 finger salute to get it working.

      He has driven 60 miles home before with none of the instrument panels working.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: My mate has an iPace

        I have an iPace. I've had it for almost 4 years now and the software works but is very slow. That is probably down to the CPU spec. As for OTA updates...? I've not had one for almost a year. Mind you, my Infotainment system is not the latest one (PiviPro).

        Around 99% of the time, the software starts up and works OOTB. Every so often, it takes a hiccup and reboots itself. Takes about a minute.

        From a build POV, the car is fantastic. Yes, the software leaves a lot to be desired but I'm not one of those who fiddles with all the settings all the time. The Satnav is the most used bit of the software. My music comes from an iPod tucked away in the centre console.

        It is a great car to drive. I shall be sad to see the back of it when my EV-6 arrives.

        1. NeilPost Silver badge

          Re: My mate has an iPace

          “From a build POV, the car is fantastic.”

          .. any correlation to it not being made by JLR but contracted out to Magna-Styer in Austria?

          https://www.magna.com/company/newsroom/releases-archive/release/2018/03/02/news-release---first-ever-all-electric-jaguar-unveiled-at-magna

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Need more than coders

        >Tells me the software is buggy as f*ck

        So the software leaks memory faster than the engine leaks oil?

        Nice to see the LandRover tradition being upheld

        1. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: Need more than coders

          The Jaguar of Dirk Gently was "built at that very special time in the company’s history when they were making cars which had to stop for repairs

          more often than they needed to stop for petrol."

      3. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: Need more than coders

        "He has driven 60 miles home before with none of the instrument panels working."

        The spirit of Joseph Lucas, the Prince of Darkness, lives on. Good to see some respect for tradition.

    3. MJI Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Need more than coders

      Hmm i think I will stick with my D2.

      No snapping cranks.

      Pretty reliable provided you actually service it.

      I do need to disable the Romulan cloaking device though.

      An interesting comment.

      I spent 4 days working on it this year, the usual question was what was wrong, why? Because no one does servicing any more.

      Replacing brake discs and pads - servicing.

      Brake fluid - servicing.

      Changing all oils - servicing.

      However it does need some serious metal repairs. Do I get it welded or replace the rusty component? A component on most cars would write it poff,but on older Land Rovers can be treated as a replacement part.

      1. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge

        Re: Need more than coders

        Birmabright alloy ftw.

        A real b*tch to work with if you want to spraypaint it, but it's very durable.

        Today's bodywork just need you to look at it wrong, and it start rusting away.

    4. Michael Strorm Silver badge

      Re: Need more than coders

      Didn't even know the New Defender was out! Having seen it, it pretty much confirms my suspicion (from the preview images/photos a few years back) that it really has nothing in common with the original- either in design terms or as a spiritual successor to what was famously an unsophisticated, unpretentious working vehicle.

      Little more than nostalgia-exploiting branding to sell just another image/lifestyle-oriented "Land Rover" like the other new "Land Rovers" sold since the early 90s.

      Irony is that the "Defender" name itself only goes back about thirty years, to when they needed to differentiate the descendants of the original "Land Rover" from all those newer models. Before that, there *was* basically just one "Land Rover" and we just called them that.

      Anyway, since the current models have more in common with their Range Rover siblings than the original, this article is very enlightening- "If Range Rovers Are So Unreliable, Why Do People Still Buy Them?"

      Spoiler; it's style and uniqueness over reliability. Though this also explains why those working in (e.g.) the Australian Outback- where getting stranded in an unreliable vehicle could mean death- drive Toyota Land Cruisers, not Range Rovers.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Need more than coders

        If you want to see a New Defender, just drive past your local private school at opening or closing time.

      2. rdhma

        Re: Need more than coders

        There is a utility off-roader, with a ladder-frame chassis, designed to take the place of the old Defender and looking very like one. The Ineos Grenadier.

        1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

          Re: Need more than coders

          Ah, I'd forgotten that.

          That's the one built by a company whose owner was in favour of Brexit yet, when push came to shove, it ended up being built in France?

          That says it all about Brexiteers.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Need more than coders

          The very definition of vaporware.

          Let me know when (if) they actually start delivering cars

      3. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Need more than coders

        >Spoiler; it's style and uniqueness over reliability.

        I'd suggest (based on my brother's ongoing experience with his Discovery) that its also the sunk cost fallacy -- you paid through the nose for the thing and you've paid thousands for ongoing repairs so you're reluctant to write the money off.

        This week is Thanksgiving week in the US and my daughter and son in law are visiting. The came in what was my 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee, The Jeep isn't as spiffy as a Range Rover and Chrrysler quality control has been spotty at best but it made the 832 miles no problem. My brother has had issues just driving his Dicso from Sussex to Oxford.

        1. TonyJ

          Re: Need more than coders

          I had a 2016 Cherokee. It blew the turbo and ran away. Not a pleasant experience. After that, it was one problem after another (mostly electronic and mostly in the rather mad 10-speed gearbox).

      4. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: Need more than coders

        If you want to go to the Australian Outback drive a Land Rover - if you want to come back drive a Toyota!

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: Need more than coders

          There's a reason Toyota end up as technicals in some countries, its because they are the last offoraders standing.

        2. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Need more than coders

          But you need the Land Rover to extract the Toyota when it gets stuck.

          To be honest it is not really a reliability issue, but taking of abuse issue.

          Toyotas do break and break expensively.

          Land Rover do have some very reliable engines. Pre 2007.

          But abuse the vehicle and they will eventually fail, just takes longer with Toyota.

          1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

            Re: Need more than coders

            Not sure which ones you're talking about, but it was the "modern" Land Rovers (i.e. all models released under the brand from the late 80s onwards) that I was lumping in with the Range Rover, not the original line (including those branded "Discovery", but not the new related-in-name-only Discovery).

            Yes, the original Land Rover was a working vehicle and very much *not* an "image" car, that was more the Range Rover, and even the older Range Rovers were far less image-oriented and more practical than what they later evolved into.

            1. MJI Silver badge

              Re: Need more than coders

              I have a late D2, so body on chassis, live axles, low ratio and the like.

              It does have the modern extras of self levelling, traction control and disconnectable anti roll bars, but everything is solid, but to be honest if I did go on a long trip I would pack a crank sensor and a spare airbag.

              I have never managed to get it stuck, drove onto some tractor generated deep mud by a ford, was diff locked, not a murmur from the TC, it just got through.

              Despite all this it is a very comfortable family car, also very practical, does not handle too badly either, can corner quite quick if you are smooth. Engine is very torquey and remapped.

              Best of all every part is still available new as a spare part.

      5. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge

        Re: Need more than coders

        Spoiler; it's style and uniqueness over reliability. Though this also explains why those working in (e.g.) the Australian Outback- where getting stranded in an unreliable vehicle could mean death- drive Toyota Land Cruisers, not Range Rovers

        Agreed 100%!!! The less fancy tech is in there, the better!

        Fancy tech belongs in hoity-toity city cars, not in offroad vehicles.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Need more than coders

          Or the bits they buy in.

          The only time my D2 needed road side assistance was due to the failure of a part made by Denso, part owned by ....... Toyota.

          Needed a good jumping and a lot of bashing of starter motor.

          But then I once drove it a few hundred miles with a failed (VDO) fuel pump.

          The bits from Solihul have been OK.

      6. Denarius

        Re: Need more than coders

        was true. In 1970s NT pubs one could start a brawl over Toyota vs LandRover. Now most vehicles are Toyota Hilux or landcruisers with Isuzu catching up fast. Western NSW has a mix of Isuzu, Colorados and Toyotas precisely because you can get parts easily, they just work and are OK on fuel burn. Other 4WDs are usually grey nomads or posers positing a perish along some muddy closed back track. LandRovers are for city dwellers.

        Offtopic: I note an increasing number of collectors or enthusiasts acquiring vehicles of 1970s, 1990s to early 2000 vehicles because they can be repaired. A small industry of replacement parts makers seems to have sprung up around the world because it is easy to have a world wide market. Nationally a small market but the international size allows economies of scale. Yes, 1980s vehicles are ignored due to long memories of crap carbies unless unusual vehicles.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Need more than coders

      My new Defender doesn't leak and the windshield has not cracked after more than a year.

      Which whiny bulletin board are you getting your misinformation from?

  2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Hopefully they'll hire coders who actually drive cars. Too many modern cars have "infotainment" systems which seem to have been designed by people who use smartphones but have never actually been behind the wheel in rural traffic.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Given that most HQ's end up in London which has about 75% of the nations public transport infrastructure and so have trains and buses every 5 minutes it's hardly a surprise that most of the people working there don't drive.

      And if they do, they'd be sitting stationary in traffic or on the M25, rather than sharing the driving experience of everybody else in the country who actually needs to drive to get to work or to get to a supermarket.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      At least they have a standing mandate that it must be possible to operate their cars while wearing gloves. That has at least curtailed this crap idea of putting everything on a device that forces you to take your eyes off the road (or speak perfect, accent free English or American) to operate.

      That is IMHO one of the biggest problems with any Tesla - if that tablet goes wrong, you can forget about driving (and I personally like to have my speedometer right in front of me or even in a heads up display).

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        If you desperately need a tablet type infortainment system in your car then there are inexpensive Andriod auto systems ($200 or so) that fit in a standard radio slot in the dashboard of older cars. You get all the bells and whistles plus if it does go belly up the car is still perfectly useable.

        The electronics are the cheap bit (although you'd never know this if you had to buy a replacement 'module' for your car).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Well, here's the thing. It may surprise the young ones but I actually have a car for .. driving.

          I'm OK with a basic radio which maybe can play a playlist and which can pick up traffic alerts and news (and yes, I will use a GPS with traffic data but it's good to keep a general picture in your head), and as long as the vehicle can keep a sensible temperature in any kind of weather it covers what I need. The rest is fun to have (and nowadays as unavoidable as the dreaded "smart" in TVs) but it is absolutely not essential and even on a long journey I can do perfectly without.

          All the faff that essentially distracts you from driving (and I include lane assist and auto cruise control in that) is just stuff I have to pay for but which does not add to the journey from A to B.

          Yeah, I'm old fashioned. Heck, I even still know how to read a map..

          1. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge

            Same here!

            I have got one of those old-fashioned book maps in my SHTF kit. It may be a bit outdated, but it will give me an indication of which road goes where, and it will still work when the GPS service fails for some reason, and your smartphone's GPS borks itself.

            Just take me a couple of seconds to orient myself using a map, but once oriented, away I go, leaving behind those who have put too much trust and reliance on their fancy GPS stuff.

            The only advantage of a GPS is that it warns you if you're exceeding the speed limit, plus sometimes it'll inform you of where there are speed traps ahead, and/or traffic congestions, which a paper map cannot do (unless you've got a marauder's map).

            Plus, a car with as little electronickery in as possible is a definite must.

          2. MJI Silver badge

            I have loads of pockets for maps, mainly 1:25,000 OS Maps.

            The satnav is old, hardly use it, but I did laugh on the way home from welding a few years ago, while entering the radio code, it decided to navigate to of all places Solihull.

            However I know where all the local RUPPs and BOATs are.

  3. trevorde Silver badge

    This tweet hasn't aged well

    "I would like to apologize for firing these geniuses. Their immense talent will no doubt be of great use elsewhere"

    Elon Musk

    1. keithpeter Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: This tweet hasn't aged well

      Never a truer word &c

      Seriously, if (and it is a big if, a huuuuge if) it is the case that Twitter was overstaffed by a large factor, then releasing the talent to find more directly productive work in other companies will increase the general productivity.

      Icon: for those widening their experience and getting involved in companies that make things

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do I want to work for the car-building wing of TCS? Eeeeh I'd rather poo in my hands and clap.

  5. Mishak Silver badge

    I wonder if they're paying better?

    No idea about permanent, but I was offered contract rates there a few years ago that were 75% of what I was on 15+ years ago.

    The amount might have just about been ok for a junior permanent staff position, but no good at all for a contractor living at the other end of the country who has to cover expenses, pension, ...

    1. OnTheSpecialBus

      Re: I wonder if they're paying better?

      I doubt there will be much of a rate on offer, there may already be offshore candidates in waiting if the roles cannot be filled.

      My sceptical hat is threadbare these days.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Jaguar started life as the Swallow Car company in Blackburn during 1922"

    Erm, no they didn't: they started as the Swallow Sidecar company and became SS Cars Limited , but changed that after WWII for obvious reasons.

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      and also...

      "Land Rover started out as part of the Rover Company, with the original off-road 4x4 made in 1947. Spending time as part of BMW and Ford, it went on to build the Range Rover"

      The Range Rover came out in 1969, long before the BMW takeover.

      -A.

    2. captain veg Silver badge

      and furthermore

      Swallow set up in BlackPOOL, not BlackBURN.

      -A.

  7. SotarrTheWizard
    Mushroom

    If what Elon stated was correct. . .

    . . . .most of the Twits who were let go were manglement, not coders.

    Time will tell. . . .

    1. Insert sadsack pun here

      Re: If what Elon stated was correct. . .

      Musk is a senior mangler who thinks he's a coder. I'm not sure I trust his classification skills...

  8. Trotts36

    Indian developers need replacing

    JLR have imported a monstrous amount of sub standard Indian software engineers who’ve proven time again that their “degrees” are largely not worth the paper they are written on.

    Quite how JLR are allowed to do this I don’t know; then again tata have large pockets..

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge

      Re: Indian developers need replacing

      Maybe that's a long-term strategy - make JLR utter rubbish so that nobody would buy them anymore, then offer Tata vehicles...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    JLR haven’t been a viable choice for years

    Poor service, poor design.

    Still, a job is a job.

  10. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

    Board-Level, Empty-Headed Marketing-Talk Sound-Bites

    "We are further strengthening our data and digital skills base so we can deliver our Reimagine strategy and become an electric-first business from 2025 and achieve carbon net zero by 2039," said JLR.

    Hearing someone on the BoD say that tells me all I need to know about the BoD's connection to reality (it's just not there), and that the company is headed down the tubes.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like