London: Britain’s biggest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is set to cut thousands of jobs as the company faces lower demand in China and a slump in sales of diesel cars in Europe.
The central English firm builds a higher proportion of its cars in Britain than any other major or medium-sized carmaker and has also spent millions of pounds preparing for Brexit, in case there are tariffs or customs checks.
Britain’s business minister Greg Clark said on Thursday it is clear why a no-deal Brexit would add to the problems with further costs and disruption.
JLR lost 354 million pounds ($450 million) between April and September 2018 and had already cut around 1,000 roles in Britain, shut its Solihull plant for two weeks and announced a three-day week at its Castle Bromwich site.
Its Chief Executive Ralf Speth warned in September that the wrong Brexit deal could cost tens of thousands of car jobs and posed a threat to production at the automaker.
The Tata Motors-owned company, which employs around 40,000 people in Britain and has boosted its workforce at new plants in China and Slovakia in recent years, unveiled plans to cut costs and improve cash flows by 2.5 billion pounds last year including “reducing employment costs and employment levels.”
Those cuts will be “substantial” and run into the thousands, the source told Reuters.
“The announcement on job losses will be substantial, affecting managerial, research, sales, design,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, not affecting production-line staff “at this stage.”
The company declined to comment when contacted by Reuters on Thursday.
Ford also said on Thursday it will cut thousands of jobs in Europe, exit unprofitable markets and discontinue loss-making vehicle lines as part of a turnaround effort aimed at improving profit margins in the region.