Published: Thu, January 10, 2019

Brexit impact: Jaguar Land Rover to cut 4,500 jobs worldwide

Brexit impact: Jaguar Land Rover to cut 4,500 jobs worldwide

The Tata Motors-owned company has unveiled plans to cut costs and improve cash flows by 2.5 billion pounds including "reducing employment costs and employment levels".

Jaguar also announced further investment in electrification, with electric drive units to be built at its factory in Wolverhampton and a new battery assembly centre at Hams Hall in Birmingham.

Management, marketing and administrative roles are expected to be the main target of JLR's jobs cuts, which will attempt to deliver £2.5bn of cost-cutting measures amid a downturn in Chinese sales, the decline in diesel sales and concerns surrounding Brexit.

Jaguar employs 44,000 workers at sites in Halewood on Merseyside and Solihull, Castle Bromwich and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands.

Jaguar Land Rover has been saying for more than a year that Brexit uncertainty would eventually take its toll on the perception of the United Kingdom as a stable and competitive base for global manufacturing.

The firm reported a £90m pre-tax loss in the three months to 30 September, compared with a £385m profit in the same period in 2017.

JLR's figures were also dented by the introduction of European emissions standards known as WLTP, which resulted in a fall in demand for diesel cars.

"We urge the government to avoid any hard Brexit", its chief executive Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes said.

"There are clearly several factors involved but the Government's lamentable failure to give businesses the strong and stable support it deserves must rank high".

Unite, the country's largest manufacturing union, said it would be pressing the vehicle maker to safeguard its members' jobs.

"This is not about making the business today more efficient but completely redesigning it", Ford's European president Steve Armstrong told the FT.

A almost 30 percent drop in demand for diesel was the most significant factor in the decline.

"We expect the immediate impact on Ford's United Kingdom operations to be limited".

"With record levels of new investment and models set to come on stream in its United Kingdom factories we look for Jaguar Land Rover to continue to be a global success and the jewel in Britain's manufacturing crown". The 4,500 job cuts are in addition to 1,500 people who left the automaker in 2018, JLR said.

It already offers plug-in hybrid Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models, as well as the well-received electric Jaguar I-Pace.

"Britain's vehicle workers have been caught in the crosshairs of the government's botched handling of Brexit, mounting economic uncertainty and ministers' demonisation of diesel, which along with the threat of a no deal Brexit, is damaging consumer confidence", Unite national officer Des Quinn said.

"Government ministers need to wake up and start doing more to support UK's auto workers and their colleagues in the supply chain if Jaguar Land Rover's recent success is to continue".

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