Jaguar Land Rover to cut thousands of UK jobs

CUT Thousands of workers will be laid off as part of a new business plan

CUT Thousands of workers will be laid off as part of a new business plan

The company has boosted its workforce at new plants in China and Slovakia in recent years.

The restructuring was announced on the same day that Ford said it would cut thousands of jobs in Europe.

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

"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 said it will produce next-generation electric motors at its engine plant in Wolverhampton, and assemble batteries at Hams Hall, also in the U.K.'s West Midlands region.

Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover's CEO, described today's moves as "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".

Hundreds of Wolverhampton JLR workers were sent home on full pay in the run-up to Christmas, as production was slowed down in the wake of falling sales, while around 200 jobs were axed in Solihull.

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And Ford signalled "significant" cuts among its 50,000 European workforce under plans to make it more competitive and make its business more sustainable. In September, Jaguar Land Rover boss Speth warned that the wrong Brexit deal could cost tens of thousands of vehicle jobs and risks production at the firm.

In December 2018, the company refused to comment on reports that it was preparing to cut thousands of jobs in the New Year. The European Union has set lower limits for vehicle carbon dioxide emissions from 2021 that are pushing carmakers to include more electric vehicles in their future sales mix.

Ford said it will seek to exit the family vans or MPV segment, review its operations in Russian Federation, and combine the headquarters of Ford U.K. and Ford Credit to a site in Dunton, Essex to achieve a 6 per cent operating margin in Europe. That could get worse in a hard Brexit, while carmakers across the globe grapple with a downturn in China and pressure to invest in electrified and autonomous cars.

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

"The next stage of this transformation programme will begin with a voluntary redundancy programme in the U.K. This strategic review will create a leaner, more resilient organisation with a flatter management structure", the company added.

"With record levels of new investment and models set to come on stream in its United Kingdom factories we look for Jaguar Land Rover to continue to be a global success and the jewel in Britain's manufacturing crown".

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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