Jaguar Land Rover to cut 4500 jobs in Brexit slump

Staff gather outside the Jaguar Land Rover site in Halewood Knowsley Merseyside. The luxury carmaker which employs 44,000 workers in the UK at sites in Halewood on Merseyside and Solihull Castle Bromwich and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands is givi

British luxury carmaker, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), owned by India's Tata Motors, on Thursday announced to cut around 4,500 jobs, mainly in the Britain, after lowering its employee headcount by 1,500 previous year.

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.

And in October, N Chandrasekaran, chairman of JLR's parent company Tata Motors, announced a turnaround programme at JLR "to drive £2.5bn of profit, cost, and cash flow improvements over the next 18 months".

There were reports a year ago 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.

Jaguar Land Rover is facing a range of high-profile business challenges, including lower demand in China and a slump in sales of diesel cars in Europe.

But the firm has promised United Kingdom investment with Electric Drive Units to be built in Wolverhampton and new electric Battery Assembly Centre at Hams Hall, North Warwickshire.

JLR employs 44,000 workers in the United Kingdom at sites in Halewood on Merseyside and Solihull, Castle Bromwich and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands.

"The economic slowdown in China along with ongoing trade tensions is continuing to influence consumer confidence", said JLR Chief Commercial Officer Felix Brautigam.

The company has sounded some of the most urgent warnings among United Kingdom manufacturers about the damage that Brexit uncertainty was doing to investment in the UK. The shift of production cost 1,200 jobs, and Jaguar also idled production at an English engine plant, which affected 500 workers.

Steven Armstrong, Ford's European group vice president, said the company was taking "decisive action" to transform its European business.

Most of the cuts are expected to be in the United Kingdom, with a voluntary programme being launched.

JLR swung to a loss of 354-million pounds ($450 million) between April and September and had already in 2018 cut around 1,000 roles in Britain, shut its Solihull plant for two weeks and announced a three-day week at its Castle Bromwich site. JRL said they come as demand for diesel-powered vehicles continues to fall.

But elsewhere in the motoring world there was positive news - the boss of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars said the brand belongs to Britain and will not move manufacturing elsewhere after Brexit.

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 on Thursday a 4.6 percent drop in full-year sales to just under 600,000 vehicles.

In June, the company said it would move production of the Land Rover Discovery sport utility vehicle to Slovakia from Birmingham, England, to make room for future electric cars.

If, as expected, the United Kingdom bears the brunt, or the entirety, of JLR's global cost-cutting, JLR may well say it tried to warn us. In China it has increased its workforce by 4,000 since 2014.

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