Jaguar Land Rover and Ford announce thousands of job cuts in the UK amidst failing markets and Brexit.
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the UK’s biggest vehicle maker, has confirmed it is cutting 4,500 jobs, with the substantial majority coming from its 40,000 strong UK workforce. Most will be in office roles as the company wants to simplify its management structure. The cuts come on top of last year’s 1,500 job losses. JLR is facing several challenges, including a slump in demand for diesel cars and a sales slowdown in China.The firm has also complained about uncertainty caused by Brexit.
The firm, which is owned by Indian conglomerate Tata, made a £90m pre-tax loss in the three months to September 30, a major reversal from the £385m profit of the previous year.
JLR’s chief executive, Ralf Speth told the BBC,
We are taking decisive action to help deliver long-term growth, in the face of multiple geopolitical and regulatory disruptions as well as technology challenges facing the automotive industry.
JLR says it will be making further investment in electrification, with electric drive units to be produced at Wolverhampton and a new battery assembly centre to be established at Hams Hall, Birmingham.
Unite, the country’s largest manufacturing union, said it would be pressing the car maker to safeguard its members’ jobs.
Unite national officer Des Quinn said.
Britain’s car 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. Government ministers need to wake up and start doing more to support UK’s car workers.
JLR plans a voluntary redundancy scheme, to help manage the latest round of job cuts.
Meanwhile carmaker Ford has announced plans for a major shake-up of its operations in the UK and mainland Europe. It is expected to lead to thousands of job losses across Europe, including the UK, although cuts at its UK factories are not thought to be imminent. But Ford Europe boss Steven Armstrong said should the UK leave the EU without a negotiated deal, a further review of UK operations would take place.
Ford is now going to talk to unions about measures to reduce costs.