As part of a £2.6bn cost-cutting plan, management, marketing and administrative roles are expected to be the hardest hit, although some production staff may also be affected. This follows the company placing 1,000 employees at its Castle Bromwich site on a three-day week in November, while 1,000 agency workers at the Solihull factory were laid off in 2017.
4,500 JOB LOSSES DESPITE INCREASING SALES
Despite the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Trader releasing figures in early January 2019 that showed Jaguar to be one of just a few manufacturers to increase its UK sales during 2018 (see opposite), JLR is more susceptible than larger manufacturers to what is being described as a ‘perfect storm’. Firstly, sales fell in China between July and September 2018, by 44 percent, the biggest slump of any market for the firm and turning the country from its biggest sales market to its smallest.
Secondly, with almost 90 percent of JLR’s range being diesel powered, it has been hit hard by the continuing backlash against diesels (although the new I-PACE and future electric vehicles should counteract this). Finally, as a proudly British manufacturer, JLR has been hit by concerns over UK competitiveness post-Brexit.
“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,” said the company’s CEO, Ralf Speth, who remained upbeat about the future. “The next chapter in the story of the Jaguar and Land Rover brands will be the most exciting – and challenging – in our history. Revealing the iconic Defender, investing in cleaner, smarter, more desirable cars and electrifying our facilities to manufacture a future range of British-built electric vehicles will all form part of building a globally competitive and flourishing company.”