Jaguar Land Rover to cut workforce by 4500

Pauline Gross
January 11, 2019

As our departure from the European Union draws closer and closer, one of our most successful manufacturers, Jaguar Land Rover, announced that it was cutting 4,500 thousand jobs.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said the company was offering voluntary redundancy packages to its United Kingdom workforce, adding: "This is a commercial decision for the company but nevertheless it will clearly be a worrying time for Jaguar Land Rover employees and their families".

"Given the difficulties that they're going through.to add further costs and further disruption from a no-deal Brexit, it's clear why they've been so clear that this would be against their interests", said business minister Greg Clark.

The company, owned by India's Tata Group, announced past year a turnaround plan that calls for savings of 2.5 billion pounds in 18 months.

Brexit has made the future of the UK's vehicle manufacturing industry uncertain, with Toyota and Vauxhall among those to warn of negative impacts in the event of a hard Brexit.

The electric cars will be built at its Wolverhampton engine plant and it will create a new battery assembly centre at Hams Hall near Birmingham as it develops a greener range of cars.

"Decisive action will help deliver resilient long-term growth as Jaguar Land Rover implements cost and profit improvements", said CEO Ralf Speth in a written statement.

Sales in China between July and September fell by 44 percent, the biggest slump of any market for the central England-based firm, turning the country from its biggest sales market to its smallest. The cuts come on top of last year's 1,500 job losses.

"Jaguar Land Rover and its owners have made clear they remain firmly committed to the United Kingdom, continuing to invest billions and employing tens of thousands of people".

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"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.

Of all JLR's problems, the biggest flashing red light is a collapse in sales in its biggest market - China.

The cost-cutting plan was first unveiled in October previous year and put down to losses created by Brexit uncertainty and slowing demand in China.

If, as expected, the United Kingdom bears the brunt, or the entirety, of JLR's global cost-cutting, JLR may well say it tried to warn us.

In Jaguar Land Rover's case there are some additional factors beyond the slowdown in the Chinese economy and cautious consumer spending.

"The announcement on job losses will be substantial, affecting managerial, research, sales, design", said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, not affecting production-line staff "at this stage".

In China it has hired 4,000 workers since 2014.

JLR is a major employer in the Midlands with plants in Solihull, Castle Bromwich and Wolverhampton.

Other reports by GizPress

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