Brexit impact: Jaguar Land Rover to cut 4,500 jobs worldwide

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

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.

Sales at the SUV-heavy unit, more than double the size of the sports-car business, declined by 6.9 per cent previous year.

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 job cuts, which will begin with a voluntary redundancy program, are expected to mainly affect roles including administration, marketing and management.

Jaguar also announced further investment in electrification, with electric drive units to be built at its factory in Wolverhampton and a new battery assembly centre at Hams Hall in Birmingham.

But back in April the manufacturer announced plans to cut 1,000 manufacturing contractor jobs amid falling demand amid anti-diesel sentiment and the pressures of Brexit.

The company already cut 1,000 jobs previous year, but new plans to improve cash flow by £2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) include "substantial" cuts to employment that will run into the thousands, a source told Reuters, affecting managerial, research, sales and design staff, but not line workers.

They come on top of the 1,500 people who left the company in 2018.

The firm reported a £90m pre-tax loss in the three months to 30 September, compared with a £385m profit in the same period in 2017.

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Trade tensions between the United States and China have made Chinese consumers more cautious.

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 vehicle makers to accelerate investments to make electric cars. Production-line workers won't be affected, they said.

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

A Ford spokesman said the auto maker now assumes that any Brexit deal would keep tariff-free trade between Britain and 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.

JLR's sales have also been hurt by consumer confusion and a shift away from diesel-powered cars in Europe following the VW emission cheating scandal.

The automaker said it would start off by offering voluntary redundancies to United Kingdom workers.

The motor industry is being hit by a twin jobs blow after two of the UK's biggest carmakers announced shake-ups.

"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".

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