Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Jaguar Land Rover to cut thousands of United Kingdom jobs

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Deanna Wagner | 10 January, 2019, 22:43

The company builds a higher proportion of its cars in Britain than any other major or medium-sized automaker and has spent millions of pounds preparing for Brexit, in case there are tariffs or customs checks between the United Kingdom and Europe.

Sales of cars in China dropped by 6%, to 22.7 million, during 2018, according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) in the market's first decline for two decades.

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

The company also announced new investment in electric technology at its Wolverhampton engine manufacturing centre and the launch of a new battery assembly centre at Hams Hall, North Warwickshire.

Armstrong said that there "will be thousands" of job losses at Ford, which now employs 53,000 people in Europe, including its two United Kingdom engine plants at Bridgend and Dagenham.

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 July last year, the company said it needed more certainty around Brexit in order to continue investing in its United Kingdom operations and warned that a "no-deal" Brexit would cost the company more than £1.2bn in profit each year.

The firm, owned by Indian conglomerate Tata, booked a £90 million pre-tax loss in the three months to September 30, which compared with a £385 million profit in the same period in 2017.

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Mercedes said this, along with the car's lower centre of gravity, helps to ensure it has improved driving dynamics. Legroom, however, is broadly similar to the previous model's and the boot has shrunk by 10 litres to 460 litres.

"In light of the continuing headwinds impacting the vehicle industry, we are making some temporary adjustments to our production schedules at Castle Bromwich", the company said.

Meanwhile Jaguar Land Rover says it will cut 4,500 jobs as the carmaker addresses slowing demand in China and growing uncertainty about the U.K.'s departure from the European Union. Production-line workers won't be affected, they said.

Steven Armstrong, Ford's European group vice president, said the company was taking "decisive action" to transform its European business.

Diesel accounts for 90 per cent of Jaguar Land Rover's British sales and 45 per cent of global demand, the company said previous year, as demand tumbles following new levies in the wake of the Volkswagen scandal.

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

"Jaguar Land Rover is expanding business-wide organisation review aimed at reducing the size of its global workforce by around 4,500 people".

Under the plan, employment costs and employment levels will be reduced, and the job losses will be in thousands, the agency reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

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.