Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Jaguar to Slash 4,500 Jobs in Brexit Slump, Joining Ford in Cuts

The firm has factories in Halewood Solihull Castle Bromwich and Wolverhampton Image The firm's boss says it is taking 'decisive action to help deliver long-term growth'
Ellis Copeland | 10 January, 2019, 22:40

Other UK-based automakers have also been vocal about their Brexit concerns, including Toyota (TM) and Nissan (7201.T), which produce a combined 640,000 cars in the country each year.

Sales at the SUV-heavy unit, more than double the size of the sports-car business, declined by 6.9 per cent past year.

The job losses will affect the company's global workforce but are expected to mainly affect the United Kingdom, where 44,000 people are employed - including 1,800 in Wolverhampton, 10,000 in Solihull and 3,200 in Castle Bromwich.

The job cuts announced Thursday will affect mostly workers in the United Kingdom, including contractors, senior management, supervisors, engineering, and design workers, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named discussing details that weren't announced.

Owned by India's Tata Motors, JLR also said it will build electric drive units at its Wolverhampton engine plant and create a new battery assembly centre in Hams Hall, near Birmingham, as it develops a greener vehicle range.

They come on top of the 1,500 people who left the company in 2018.

The firm employs more than 40,000 people in Britain and the cuts are said to be part of plans to reduce costs by £2.5 billion, the company announced.

In December 2018, the company refused to comment on reports that it was preparing to cut thousands of jobs in the New Year.

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The firm reported a £90m pre-tax loss in the three months to 30 September, compared with a £385m profit in the same period in 2017.

According to the broadcaster, the job layoffs are part of a £2.5 billion ($3.2 billion, 2.75 billion euro) cuts program. Total vehicle sales in China (JLR's biggest market) declined for the first time in two decades a year ago, as the nation's consumers reacted to the economic uncertainty surrounding the introduction of U.S. trade tariffs. Production-line workers won't be affected, they said.

"This is not about making the business today more efficient but completely redesigning it", Ford's European president Steve Armstrong told the FT.

Britain's business minister Greg Clark said on Thursday it is clear why a no-deal Brexit would add to the problems with further costs and disruption.

The automaker said it would start off by offering voluntary redundancies to United Kingdom workers.

"Britain's vehicle workers have been caught in the crosshairs of the Government's botched handling of Brexit, mounting economic uncertainty and ministers' demonisation of diesel, which along with the threat of a no-deal Brexit, is damaging consumer confidence".

Earlier this month it was reported United Kingdom new auto sales in 2018 fell at their fastest rate since the global financial crisis a decade ago, hit by the collapse in demand for diesel, as the industry body warned of the existential threat to the sector posed by Brexit. Its new Slovakian factory has a capacity of 150,000.

The motor industry is being hit by a twin jobs blow after two of the UK's biggest carmakers announced shake-ups.

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