Jaguar Land Rover to cut up to 5,000 jobs

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In the darkest day for the British automotive industry since the collapse of Rover Group 14 years ago with the loss of 6,000 jobs in Birmingham, Jaguar Land Rover said it had to take "decisive action" to secure the long-term future of the company.

A Ford spokesman said the auto maker now assumes that any Brexit deal would keep tariff-free trade between Britain and Europe. It is also working to ramp up its electric auto production.

JLR plans a voluntary redundancy scheme, to help manage the latest round of job cuts.

The move, also thought to be a result of lower demand for diesel cars, forms part of cost-cutting plan worth £2.5bn, which was devised after JLR suffered hefty financial losses in 2018.

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.

The company said in July previous year that it needed more certainty around Brexit in order to continue investing in its United Kingdom operation.

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And JLR is also one of the most heavily exposed auto makers to continuing consumer confusion about the wisdom of buying a diesel vehicle in the aftermath of the VW emissions scandal.

Global automakers must adjust to sweeping change expected from a move toward battery-powered and autonomous vehicles, and toward providing transportation as a service through ride-hailing and car-sharing smartphone apps.

JLR has warned of further losses in the event of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union with a poor trade deal or no deal.

Industry insiders have called the plans a "perfect storm".

There is also concern about competitiveness post-Brexit.

In Jaguar Land Rover's case there are some additional factors beyond the slowdown in the Chinese economy and cautious consumer spending. However, amid China demand concerns, the company had witnessed a silver lining in the United States sales, with numbers improving almost 24 percent in December.

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The issues at JLR have arisen as Ford is also looking to cut back on its workforce numbers in Europe.

Hundreds of Wolverhampton JLR workers were sent home on full pay in the run-up to Christmas, as production was slowed down in the wake of falling sales, while around 200 jobs were axed in Solihull.

JLR, which became Britain's biggest carmaker in 2016, had been on course to build around 1 million vehicles by the turn of the decade, but output in 2018 looks set to have fallen as sales in the first eleven months dropped 4.4 percent.

It has hired 4,000 workers in China since 2014.

Jaguar 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 company's Ryton and Halewood facilities manufacture the Jaguar XE SV Project 8, Range Rover SV Coupé, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque models.

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It is not clear which centres in the United Kingdom will be directly affected but JLR has offices nearby in Gaydon, Whitley and Warwick.

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