Jaguar and Ford confirm thousands of job losses across Europe

Brexit partly to blame for redundancies, along with slump in sales of diesel cars

A  Ford  Explorer (SUV).  Cuts at Jaguar come on the same day that Ford said it would cut thousands of jobs in Europe as it tries to turn around a region that has been a drag on earnings for years. Photograph: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg

A Ford Explorer (SUV). Cuts at Jaguar come on the same day that Ford said it would cut thousands of jobs in Europe as it tries to turn around a region that has been a drag on earnings for years. Photograph: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg

 

Jaguar Land Rover plans to eliminate 4,500 jobs worldwide as the UK’s biggest car-maker responds to a sales slowdown caused by Brexit, flagging demand for diesel-powered vehicles and a downturn in China.

The layoffs, representing roughly 10 per cent the company’s workforce, come on top of the 1,500 people who left in 2018, the company said on Thursday in a statement.

The move is part of a £2.5 billion (€2.7bn) push announced last year to reduce costs and boost cash flow through 2020.

“We are 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,” chief executive Ralf Speth said in the statement.

The measures were aimed at “safeguarding our future, and ensuring that we maximise the opportunities created by growing demand for autonomous, connected, electric and shared technologies”.

The cuts at Jaguar come on the same day that Ford said it would cut thousands of jobs in Europe as it tries to turn around a region that has been a drag on earnings for years.

Car-makers are contending with a slowing global marketplace, and Brexit has been a particular drag on the UK.

Jaguar, owned by India’s Tata Motors , employed more than 43,000 people during the 2018 financial year.

In June the company said it would move production of the Discovery sport utility vehicle (SUV) to Slovakia from Birmingham to make room for future electric cars. The company has said that move will cost 1,200 jobs.

It also froze production at an engine factory in the English midlands, affecting 500 workers, for two weeks in December, citing slower demand. UK new-car sales tumbled at their steepest annual rate since the financial crisis last year.

Jaguar sales increased 4.2 per cent in 2018, while Land Rover registrations dropped 5.7 per cent, according to the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders industry group in the UK.

– Bloomberg