Jaguar Land Rover to cut 4,500 jobs, mainly in Britain

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Jaguar Land Rover to cut 4,500 jobs, mainly in Britain

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".

Other UK-based automakers have also been vocal about their Brexit concerns, including Toyota (TM) and Nissan (7201.T), which produce a combined 640,000 cars in the country each year.

A trade war between China and the United States combined with Britain's pending exit from the European Union has fragmented once global markets, forcing vehicle makers to reassess the profitability of individual models and locations.

The luxury carmaker employs 44,000 workers in the United Kingdom at sites in Halewood on Merseyside and Solihull, Castle Bromwich and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands.

Marketing, management and administration roles are expected to be those most affected, the BBC report said.

The company employs about 44,000 people in the United Kingdom.

The firm said the move would help it cut about £2.5bn ($3.2bn) in costs over the next 18 months and prepare the company for a fearless new world of electric and autonomous vehicles.

The firm, owned by Indian conglomerate Tata, cut 1,000 temporary contract workers at its plant in Solihull in 2017.

The new job losses are in addition to the 1,500 workers who left the company previous year. But sales in China have fallen almost 50% in recent months as cautious Chinese consumers have been holding back on big ticket purchases amid global trade tensions.

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.

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

Diesel accounts for 90 percent of the firm's British sales and 45 percent of global demand, the company said a year ago, as demand in the segment tumbles following new levies in the wake of the 2015 Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal.

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

"Britain's auto workers have been caught in the crosshairs of the Government's botched handling of Brexit, mounting economic uncertainty and ministers' demonisation of diesel, which along with the threat of a no-deal Brexit, is damaging consumer confidence".

"Jaguar Land Rover is expanding business-wide organisation review aimed at reducing the size of its global workforce by around 4,500 people".

Beyond the £2.5 billion now being sought, rumours abound that Jaguar could be reincarnated as an all-electric brand in the not-too-distant future, better positioning it to deliver on future customer demand and lessening the burden it now places on the far-healthier Land Rover.

In June, the company said it would move production of the Land Rover Discovery sport utility vehicle to Slovakia from Birmingham, England, to make room for future electric cars.

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