JLR may slash 5,000 jobs next year to cut cost

Vidya Ram | | Updated on: Dec 17, 2018

Jaguar Land Rover could cut up to 5,000 jobs as part of a £2.5-billion overhaul programme, which critics of the UK government attributed to uncertainty around Brexit.

The company has declined to confirm or deny the report — from the Financial Times — which said that the cuts could be announced in the New Year. JLR had earlier announced plans to cut costs by £1 billion, over an 18-month period, in response to deteriorating conditions, which led to its £90-million quarterly loss in September.

“Jaguar Land Rover notes media speculation about the potential impact of its ongoing Change and Acceleration transformation programmes … these programmes aim to deliver £2.5 billion of cost, cash, and profit improvements,” it said. In April, it announced cuts up to 1,000 temporary roles at its Solihull plant and temporary cuts to production schedules elsewhere.

While other factors have been at play — such as weakness in China — the company has repeatedly warned about the impact of Brexit-related uncertainty on its operations, and the latest reports were seized on by critics of the government. In July, the company warned that a bad Brexit deal could cost the company as much as £1.2 billion in profit each year, putting £80 billion of further investment and jobs at risk.

“Real worry that works are starting to feel the effects of uncertainty caused by the government’s botched Brexit deal amongst other factors,” said Rebecca Long-Bailey, the Labour Party’s Shadow Business Secretary.

“This is not project fear. This is the reality of Brexit,” said David Lammy, a Labour MP campaigning for a second referendum on Brexit.

Workers’ body Unite the Union said it was not aware of any further job losses beyond those already announced, and said it would press the carmaker for assurances over jobs and skills. “The government’s demonisation of diesel, its botched handling of Brexit and economic global uncertainty have seriously dented the hard work of Britain’s car workers in making their industry the jewel in the UK’s manufacturing crown,” said a spokesperson for the union.

Published on December 17, 2018
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