Jaguar to cut 4,500 workers amid falling sales in China and Brexit fears | Daily Star
10 January, 2019, 22:39
The company has boosted its workforce at new plants in China and Slovakia in recent years.
Meanwhile, Ford Europe announced today it will be cutting thousands of jobs from its workforce, which now totals 53,000; 24,000 of those workers are based in Germany.
There were reports previous year that thousands of jobs could be axed as part of a £2.5 billion savings plan amid falling sales in China and a drop in demand for diesel cars, but the figure was not confirmed.
The company said it will produce next-generation electric motors at its engine plant in Wolverhampton, and assemble batteries at Hams Hall, also in the U.K.'s West Midlands region.
The company started consultations with unions, with details of job cuts not expected until later in the year, although staff based at Warley in Brentwood will move to Dunton in Essex.
Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Ralf Speth said he had serious concerns about the impact of a hard Brexit but it was not possible to predict what steps might be required if that happens.
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. "This is in addition to the 1,500 people who left the company during 2018", the company said in a statement.
The company builds a higher proportion of its cars in Britain than any other major or medium-sized carmaker and has also spent millions of pounds preparing for Brexit, in case there are tariffs or customs checks.
"This is not about making the business today more efficient but completely redesigning it", Ford's European president Steve Armstrong told the FT.
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.
New all-electric vehicles will be offered for all Ford models, while there will be a more "targeted" line up of models in the future.
A Ford spokesman said the auto maker now assumes that any Brexit deal would keep tariff-free trade between Britain and Europe.
"Jaguar Land Rover is expanding business-wide organisation review aimed at reducing the size of its global workforce by around 4,500 people".
Ford's Armstrong said pressure to build electric and hybrid cars had forced the auto maker to make choices about where to allocate its capital.
Some 5,000 jobs will be cut, mainly in management, marketing and administrative roles, the BBC reported.
The automaker said it would start off by offering voluntary redundancies to United Kingdom workers. Its new Slovakian factory has a capacity of 150,000.
Jaguar Land Rover announced it is cutting thousands of jobs.