Massive job cuts as Jaguar faces a slump in diesel car sales
BRITAIN’s biggest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is set to announce “substantial” job cuts in the thousands, a source said, as the company faces double-digit drops in demand in China and a slump in sales for diesel cars in Europe.
The company 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 swung to a loss of £354 million (about R6.279bn) between April and September and had already in 2018 cut nearly 1 000 roles in Britain, shut its Solihull plant for two weeks and announced a three-day week at its Castle Bromwich site.
The Tata Motors-owned company has unveiled plans to cut costs and improve cash flows by £2.5bn, including “reducing employment costs and employment levels”.
Those cuts will be “substantial” and run into the thousands, the source said.
“The announcement on job losses will be substantial, affecting managerial, research, sales, design,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Production-line staff will not be affected “at this stage,” said the source.
The company, which employs nearly 40 000 people in Britain and has been boosting its workforce at new plants in China and Slovakia in recent years, declined to comment when contacted yesterday.
JLR, which became Britain’s biggest carmaker in 2016, had been on course to build about 1 million vehicles by the turn of the decade, but output last year looks set to have fallen as sales in the first 11 months dropped 4.4 percent.
Sales in China between July and September fell by 44 percent, the biggest slump of any market for the central England-based firm, turning the country from its biggest sales market to its smallest.
Its chief financial officer said in October that the firm’s Changshu plant in China “has basically been closed for most of October in order to allow the inventory of both our vehicles and dealer inventory to start to reduce.” Diesel accounted for 90 percent of the firm’s British sales and 45 percent of global demand, the company said last year, as demand in the segment tumbled following new levies in the wake of the 2015 Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal.
Jaguar Land Rover, Britain’s leading manufacturer of premium luxury vehicles, plans to cut some 5 000 jobs – mainly in management, marketing and administration – as part of its £2.5 billion saving plan. |