Jaguar Land Rover to cut thousands of United Kingdom jobs

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Britain's biggest vehicle maker, Jaguar Land Rover, is cutting 4,500 jobs worldwide, with most of the cuts affecting workers in the UK.

The JLR job cuts come on the same day that Ford Motor Co. said it would cut thousands of jobs in Europe as it tries to turn around a region that's been a drag on earnings for years.

Most of the job cuts at Jaguar Land Rover will come from its United Kingdom workforce.

There were reports a year ago that thousands of jobs could be axed as part of a £2.5 billion savings plan amid falling sales in China and a drop in demand for diesel cars, but the figure was not confirmed.

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.

The company also announced new investment in electric technology at its Wolverhampton engine manufacturing centre and the launch of a new battery assembly centre at Hams Hall, North Warwickshire.

Around 4,000 full-time staff work at the JLR site in Halewood, along with around 2,000 agency staff.

The firm, owned by Indian conglomerate Tata, booked a £90m pre-tax loss in the three months to September 30, which compared with a £385m profit in the same period in 2017.

Trade tensions between the United States and China have made Chinese consumers more cautious.

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Ralf Speth, JLR's chief executive, placed part of the blame for the cull on the "continuing uncertainty related to Brexit".

Japanese firm Honda later announced six non-production days in April under contingency plans to mitigate the risk of disruption to production at its Swindon factory after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

But back in April the manufacturer announced plans to cut 1,000 manufacturing contractor jobs amid falling demand amid anti-diesel sentiment and the pressures of Brexit. The company has said that move will cost 1,200 jobs. "This is in addition to the 1,500 people who left the company during 2018", the company said in a statement.

A Ford spokesman said the vehicle maker now assumes that any Brexit deal would keep tariff-free trade between Britain and Europe. Building on last year's investment in their key plants in Solihull and Halewood to build the next-generation of Land Rover models, including electric vehicles.

It is also moving production of the Land Rover Discovery to Slovakia with plans to hire up to 3,000 workers.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said the company was offering voluntary redundancy packages to its United Kingdom workforce, adding: "This is a commercial decision for the company but nevertheless it will clearly be a worrying time for Jaguar Land Rover employees and their families". One thousand people employed at its Castle Bromwich factory had their working week cut down to three days.

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

Most commentators have concluded that the chance of a no-deal Brexit have increased with the governor of the Bank of England recently describing the probability as "uncomfortably high".

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