Jaguar Land Rover to cut 4,500 jobs under cost savings plans

Last year, it said Land Rover Discovery production would move to Slovakia out of the United Kingdom to make room for future battery-electric vehicles. It did, however, confirm further United Kingdom investment in electrification with electric drive units to be made at its Wolverhampton powertrain plant from 2020.

In addition to the Chinese slump, Jaguar Land Rover - and to some extent, the broader auto market - has been affected by a number of other factors including Brexit, US trade tariffs, negativity around diesel and new WLTP regulations.

Most of the cuts are expected to be in the United Kingdom, with the savings and "cashflow improvements" coming over the next 18 months.

These 4,500 job cuts will come from across all of JLR's locations in the United Kingdom, with voluntary reductions offered first in the form of a buyout program and early retirement packages.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will cut 10 per cent of its workforce, mostly in its home market, as Britain's biggest carmaker faces lower Chinese demand and a slump in European diesel sales.

Ford Europe boss Steve Armstrong said the shake-up was likely to lead to "thousands" of jobs.

The company started consultations with unions, with details of job cuts not expected until later in the year, although staff based at Warley in the West Midlands will move to Dunton in Essex.

The company, owned by India's Tata Group, announced previous year a turnaround plan that calls for savings of 2.5 billion pounds in 18 months.

"Unite will continue to press the vehicle maker for assurances over the jobs and skills of our members who have worked tirelessly over the past decade to make the company the global success story it is today".

The US carmaker is to abandon the multivan market - vehicles with more than five seats - stop manufacturing automatic transmissions in Bordeaux from August, review its operations in Russian Federation, and combine the headquarters of Ford UK and Ford Credit to a site in Dunton, Essex.

Also Thursday, Ford signalled "significant" cuts among its 50,000-strong workforce under plans to make it more competitive.

He said: 'We will invest in the vehicles, services, segments and markets that best support a long-term sustainably profitable business, creating value for all our stakeholders and delivering emotive vehicles to our customers'.

Armstrong said any Ford layoffs and plant closures would be subject to negotiations with labour representatives, and such plans did not account for the possibility of a "hard" exit by Britain from the European Union. The recent fall is being blamed on ongoing uncertainty on import duty charges and trade tensions.

Last November the new Range Rover Evoque was unveiled, which will be built at Halewood and was hailed as safeguarding jobs there.

"However, recent years have been hard".

Last March, Mr Western hosted a Parliamentary debate on the future of the automotive industry - raising falling diesel sales, falling consumer confidence and Brexit concerns.

Meanwhile it has been hiring elsewhere.

In China it has hired 4,000 workers since 2014. Production-line workers won't be affected, they said.

JLR, which became Britain's biggest carmaker in 2016, had been on course to build around 1 million vehicles by the turn of the decade, reported a 4.6 per cent drop in full-year sales to just under 600,000 vehicles.

Vanessa Coleman

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