Jaguar Land Rover to cut staff and production at UK plants

16 April 2018

16 April 2018

Jaguar Land Rover is reported to be cutting around 1,000 jobs and reducing production at two of its UK plants, as confusion around the effect of Brexit and the UK market decline continues.

The carmaker is planning to cut the number of agency staff it employs at its plants in Solihull and Castle Bromwich, as it looks to cut its output of Range Rover and Jaguar models. The company is struggling in the face of lower consumer confidence as the UK negotiates its exit from the EU, together with the decline in diesel sales, a technology that accounts for most of the manufacturer’s sales.

In a statement, the company says: ′As is standard business practice, Jaguar Land Rover regularly reviews its production schedules to ensure market demand is balanced globally.

′In light of the continuing headwinds impacting the car industry, we are making some adjustments to our production schedules and the level of agency staff. We are however continuing to recruit large numbers of highly skilled engineers, graduates and apprentices as we over-proportionally invest in new products and technologies. We also remain committed to our UK plants in which we have invested more than £4 billion (€4.6 billion) since 2010 to future proof manufacturing technologies to deliver new models.’

JLR saw sales fall by 26% in the UK during March 2018 and dropping 16% across the whole of Europe. These two markets account for nearly half the output from the company’s British plants, and 90% of these run on diesel, which is a declining market. The carmaker builds over a million diesel engines each year together with 725,000 cars. The company’s sales in 2017 were flat too.

The group, owned by India’s Tata Motors, also has manufacturing sites in China, Brazil and India, and a significant facility under construction in Slovakia.

In January, JLR said it would be looking to decrease production at its plant in Halewood, blaming the downturn on both Brexit and the tax increases on diesel vehicles through the country’s vehicle excise duty (VED) scheme. However, earlier in 2017 the manufacturer stated it was looking to recruit up to 5,000 engineers and technical staff prior to Brexit negotiations between the UK Government and the EU Commission beginning.

JLR is not the only company cutting its workforce in response to decreased production and falling demand. Towards the end of 2017, PSA Group announced it was to shed around 650 jobs from its Vauxhall plant at Ellesmere Port.

Sales of diesels in Britain fell a third in the first three months of the year, driven partly by the prospect of heavier taxes on the fuel and confusion over whether the government plans to ban its use in new vehicles beyond 2040.