Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 June 2019

Jaguar Land Rover to slash 4,500 jobs

The car maker is seeking to cut costs as it struggles with Brexit issues and sales to China falling

Jaguar Land Rover was forced to close its Solihull plant in October for two weeks after a sales slump. Getty.
Jaguar Land Rover was forced to close its Solihull plant in October for two weeks after a sales slump. Getty.

The UK’s largest car maker Jaguar Land Rover will cut some 4,500 jobs from its 40,000 strong workforce amid uncertainty over Brexit, a fall in sales to China and a downturn in diesel sales.

The move forms part of a £2.5 billion (Dh11.72bn) plan to slash costs over 18 months. The layoffs, first reported by the BBC, are likely to affect management, marketing and administrative roles in particular, although production staff could also be hit by the decision.

It is being billed as an operation to shore up the companies long-term strategic operating efficiencies, and deliver cost reductions and cash flow improvements.

This adds to the added 1,500 workers let go in 2018.

“Decisive action will help deliver resilient long-term growth as Jaguar Land Rover implements cost and profit improvements. This will safeguard our future and enable vital ongoing investment into Autonomous, Connected, Electric," said CEO Ralf Speth in a statement.

“The announcement on job losses will be substantial, affecting managerial, research, sales, design,” a source previously told Reuters.

Overall, sales dropped by 4.4 per cent in the first 11 months of 2018 and in China by 44 per cent between July and September last year. It recorded a loss of £354 million between April and September.

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The company has also increased preparations for a no-deal Brexit, with the UK planning to leave the European Union on March 29. Jaguar Land Rover has previously warned a poor Brexit deal could damage tens of billion of pounds of investment it has planned to make.

As the car company producing most of its products in the UK compared to its rivals, a "hard" Brexit could cause problems with tariffs and custom unions would be particularly damaging.

Jaguar recently announced plans to transfer production of its Land Rover Discovery to Slovakia and in October 2018 closed its Solihull plant in the UK for two weeks.

Updated: January 10, 2019 05:41 PM

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