Jaguar Land Rover to cut 4500 jobs in Brexit slump

Blanche Robertson
January 10, 2019

The job cuts come as Ford and JLR have been hit by a fall in demand for diesel-engined cars and after European policy-makers last month agreed stricter pollution limits, forcing vehicle makers to accelerate investments to make electric cars.

Some of the money saved will be reinvested in the automaker's electrification drive.

And Ford signalled "significant" cuts among its 50,000 European workforce under plans to make it more competitive and make its business more sustainable.

Jaguar Land Rover said earlier that its retail sales fell 4.6 per cent in 2018, citing uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the trade-war driven Chinese slump that lowered its sales in the country by 22 per cent, and consumer misgivings around the diesel engines that power much of its Land Rover lineup.

The firm said the move would help it cut about £2.5bn ($3.2bn) in costs over the next 18 months and prepare the company for a courageous new world of electric and autonomous vehicles.

The company says the job losses will be global, but it's understood most of the redundancies will occur in the United Kingdom, where the automaker employs around 43,000 people.

But as part of its new "business plan", some 4,500 jobs will be cut, mainly in management, marketing and administrative roles but some productions staff may also be hit, the BBC reported.

Hundreds of Wolverhampton JLR workers were sent home on full pay in the run-up to Christmas, as production was slowed down in the wake of falling sales, while around 200 jobs were axed in Solihull.

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The Dearborn, Michigan-based company didn't reveal how many jobs would be cut and said reductions would be achieved as far as possible through voluntary departures negotiated with unions and employee representatives.

Mr Armstrong said Ford was making "tough" decisions by undertaking a "complete review" of its European operations.

Ford is now in talks with Volkswagen Group over a potential alliance, which could boost its strategic cost-cutting and boost its efforts to deliver an alternatively-fulled vehicle (AFV) drivetrain for each of its auto models.

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

At the time, it did not say how many jobs would be lost, although the Financial Times reported in December up to 5,000 jobs could go.

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

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is expected to announce plans to cut thousands of jobs as part of a £2.5bn plan to reverse losses. That could get worse in a hard Brexit, while carmakers across the globe grapple with a downturn in China and pressure to invest in electrified and autonomous cars.

"Government ministers need to wake up and start doing more to support UK's vehicle workers and their colleagues in the supply chain if Jaguar Land Rover's recent success is to continue". Its new Slovakian factory has a capacity of 150,000.

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