Jaguar Land Rover confirms 4,500 job cuts

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

Staff gather outside the Jaguar Land Rover site in Halewood Knowsley Merseyside ahead of the job announcement

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 past year.

The central English firm builds a higher proportion of its cars in Britain than any other major or medium-sized carmaker and has also spent millions of pounds preparing for Brexit, in case there are tariffs or customs checks.

JLR, Britain's biggest carmaker, said it will lose 4,500 jobs from its global workforce, the majority of them management roles in the United Kingdom at sites including Coventry and Gaydon.

So far, the "Charge and Accelerate" programme has identified over GBP 1 billion of improvements, with more than GBP 500 million already realised in 2018, the company said.

Meanwhile, Ford signalled "significant" cuts among its 50,000-strong European workforce under plans to make it more competitive and make its business more sustainable.

The company builds a higher proportion of its cars in Britain than any other major or medium-sized automaker and has spent millions of pounds preparing for Brexit, in case there are tariffs or customs checks between the United Kingdom and Europe.

The company confirmed today its Wolverhampton engine factory will begin producing electric drive units (EDUs) from later this year.

"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", Speth said.

-China trade war for slumping sales in China; JLR sales were down 22 percent in the world's largest auto market. They come on top of the 1,500 people who left the company in 2018.

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The company reported on Thursday a 4.6 percent drop in full-year 2018 sales to just under 600,000 vehicles.

Apple and Jaguar Land Rover are not alone in their fight to adapt and survive in the current Chinese economy.

The cost-cutting plan was first unveiled in October a year ago and put down to losses created by Brexit uncertainty and slowing demand in China.

While China's economy is still far from in recession - it's still projected to grow at 6.5% this year - there is likely to be more bad news to come.

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.

Electric cars such as the Jaguar i-Pace (above) aren't cheap to produce, and JLR is grappling with an global footprint to ensure it's building its growing range of vehicles in territories where it makes sense, near customers and where the business case is strongest. Production-line workers won't be affected, they said.

In China it has hired 4,000 workers since 2014.

JLR also employs around 10,000 people in Solihull - its biggest factory - and around 3,200 at its Jaguar factory in Castle Bromwich, where a three-day week was introduced in the autumn.

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