Ford Europe, Jaguar to slash thousands of jobs amid turnaround efforts

Jaguar Land Rover is cutting thousands more jobs in a bid to save billions

Jaguar Land Rover is cutting thousands more jobs in a bid to save billions

Jaguar Land Rover is to cut 4,500 jobs - a lot of them in the Midlands - as it looks to save £2.5 billion.

Meanwhile, Ford Europe announced today it will be cutting thousands of jobs from its workforce, which now totals 53,000; 24,000 of those workers are based in Germany.

The job cuts come as Ford and JLR have been hit by a fall in demand for diesel-engined cars and after European policy-makers last month agreed stricter pollution limits, forcing auto makers to accelerate investments to make electric cars.

In October a year ago the vehicle giant unveiled a £2.5 billion turnaround plan that included cost cutting after Brexit uncertainty and slowing demand in China left it nursing a hefty second-quarter loss.

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.

The company also announced new investment in electric technology at its Wolverhampton engine manufacturing centre and the launch of a new battery assembly centre at Hams Hall, North Warwickshire.

Jaguar Land Rover's United Kingdom workforce has grown from around 17,000 to more than 40,000 in the last six years, at its sites including Whitley near Coventry, Halewood on Merseyside, Solihull, Castle Bromwich and Wolverhampton.

The firm, owned by Indian conglomerate Tata, booked a £90m pre-tax loss in the three months to September 30, which compared with a £385m profit in the same period in 2017.

"Falling sales in China due to global trade wars as well as changing consumer attitudes to diesel vehicles have been damaging".

Ralf Speth, JLR's chief executive, placed part of the blame for the cull on the "continuing uncertainty related to Brexit".

In Castle Bromwich, 1,000 employees were put on a three day week for the last three months of 2018.

The retrenchment sits on the blunt edge of a £2.5bn cost-cutting plan, precipitated by declining Chinese sales, the ongoing fallout from the dieselgate scandal and fears for Britain's trading status post Brexit. The exact number of cuts will be determined after negotiations with workers' groups, Reuters reports. JRL said they come as demand for diesel-powered vehicles continues to fall.

Mr Clark said: "Jaguar Land Rover is a much valued British company with a talented and dedicated workforce".

JLR plans a voluntary redundancy scheme, to help manage the latest round of job cuts.

Most commentators have concluded that the chance of a no-deal Brexit have increased with the governor of the Bank of England recently describing the probability as "uncomfortably high".

Meanwhile, Jaguar has been adding to its workforce elsewhere in the world.

In China it has hired 4,000 workers since 2014. It's already moved all Land Rover Discovery production overseas to eastern Europe. "We will continue to work closely with the company to support their long-term plans".

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