Jaguar Land Rover to slash United Kingdom jobs after China, diesel drop

11 January, 2019, 15:40 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • Jaguar Land Rover is cutting thousands more jobs in a bid to save billions

JLR confirmed it was cutting 4,500 jobs from its 40,000 strong United Kingdom workforce as part of a £2.5 billion cost-cutting plan, which bosses have attributed to a downturn in the Chinese market, a drop in diesel sales and concerns over Brexit.

A spokesman for the union Unite said: "Unite is not aware of any further job losses to those already announced and planned for early in the new year at Jaguar Land Rover, Unite also expects ongoing transparency regarding the hard current climate the automotive sector is operating in the United Kingdom and its impact with the company".

In October past year the auto giant unveiled a £2.5 billion turnaround plan that included cost cutting after Brexit uncertainty and slowing demand in China left it nursing a hefty second-quarter loss.

JLR said demand in China, once one of its strongest countries, fell by 21.6 per cent in 2018, the biggest drop of any of its markets.

This includes today's announcement of investment in next generation electric drive units to be produced in Wolverhampton and a new battery assembly centre in Hams Hall.

JLR, owned by the Indian conglomerate Tata, announced 1,000 job losses at its Solihull factory in April 2018, after United Kingdom sales of the Range Rover and Discovery models fell, while 2,000 staff at its Castle Bromwich plant moved to a three-day week a year ago.

The firm, owned by Indian conglomerate Tata, cut 1,000 temporary contract workers at its plant in Solihull in 2017.

Ralf Speth, JLR's chief executive, placed part of the blame for the cull on the "continuing uncertainty related to Brexit". The company has said that move will cost 1,200 jobs.

JLR swung to a loss of 354-million pounds ($450 million) between April and September and had already in 2018 cut around 1,000 roles in Britain, shut its Solihull plant for two weeks and announced a three-day week at its Castle Bromwich site.

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According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, it will occur Tuesday, a day after meeting with the New York Jets and impressing them. Kingsbury is replacing Steve Wilks, who was sacked by the Cardinals after just one year.

The auto industry has suffered a triple blow as three of the UK's biggest manufacturers announced job and production cuts.

The retrenchment sits on the blunt edge of a £2.5bn cost-cutting plan, precipitated by declining Chinese sales, the ongoing fallout from the dieselgate scandal and fears for Britain's trading status post Brexit.

Meanwhile, Jaguar has been adding to its workforce elsewhere in the world.

In June, the company said it would move production of the Land Rover Discovery sport utility vehicle to Slovakia from Birmingham, England, to make room for future electric cars.

Britain's business minister Greg Clark said a no-deal Brexit would be a disaster for the firm.

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

The company further said that the next phase of this transformation programme will begin with a voluntary redundancy programme in the United Kingdom, with a view to create a leaner, more resilient organisation with a flatter management structure.

"Unite is positively engaging with Ford over its plans as we seek to safeguard jobs and look after the interests of all the company's employees in the UK".

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