London: Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) said Wednesday that around 500 jobs will be affected as it cuts down on shifts to optimise car production at its Halewood factory in Merseyside.
The factory, which builds the ‘Range Rover Evoque’ and ‘Land Rover Discovery Sport’ in the north west of England, will move from a three shift to a ‘two-plus’ shift pattern from April as part of what the company says is an efficiency programme and does not imply a loss of volume.
“Through its ongoing transformation programme, Jaguar Land Rover is taking action to optimise performance, enable sustainable growth and safeguard the long-term success of our business. Central to the Halewood manufacturing strategy, we are moving from a three shift to a ‘two-plus’ shift pattern from April 2020,” a JLR statement said.
“This will deliver significant operating efficiencies at the plant, while enabling us to meet the growing customer demand for our new ‘Range Rover Evoque’ and ‘Land Rover Discovery Sport’ vehicles. This change in shift pattern affects around 10 per cent of Halewood’s workforce,” the statement noted.
There are currently just under 4,000 employees at Halewood, excluding agency staff, and the latest announcement is likely to affect around 500 jobs at the site, the company said.
It comes as the company continues to implement ‘Project Charge’, its GBP 2.5-billion programme unveiled last year to improve long-term profitability and cash flow.
The UK’s largest automotive manufacturer has been struggling alongside the wider car industry amid a weakening demand for luxury car models in China and falling demand for diesel vehicles across the European market. Amid a drop in car sales, JLR had announced around 4,500 job cuts last year.