Marketing roles bear brunt of Jaguar Land Rover mass layoffs

Marketing roles bear brunt of Jaguar Land Rover mass layoffs

Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed it will cut 4500 jobs as it wrestles with a ideal storm of weakening demand for its premium cars, especially in China, the uncertainties of Brexit and the rising costs of developing the next generation of cars for the electric age.

Meanwhile Rolls-Royce Motor Cars chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos has pledged that the carmaker will remain in Britain post-Brexit.

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". The company has said that move will cost 1,200 jobs.

The company's move follows plans announced previous year to reduce white-collar jobs across the company's global business.

A downturn in Chinese sales, a fall in diesel sales and concerns about the competitiveness of the United Kingdom after Brexit are the reasons for the cuts, the BBC has said.

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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.

Brexit played an indirect role in the decision, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer Ralf Speth said on a conference call, citing the United Kingdom automotive market's 6.8 per cent drop in 2018, the worst since the financial crisis.

The company has been making losses following a massive drop in demand in China, its biggest market, and concerns on diesel vehicles.

The company started consultations with unions, with details of job cuts not expected until later in the year, although staff based at Warley in Brentwood will move to Dunton in Essex.

True, Jaguar Land Rover faces plenty of challenges, just like rest of the auto industry.

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In October past year the auto giant unveiled a £2.5 billion turnaround plan that included cost cutting after Brexit uncertainty and slowing demand in China left it nursing a hefty second-quarter loss.

"Britain's auto workers have been caught in the crosshairs of the government's botched handling of Brexit, mounting economic uncertainty and ministers' demonisation of diesel, which along with the threat of a no deal Brexit, is damaging consumer confidence", Unite national officer Des Quinn said. That could get worse in a hard Brexit, while carmakers across the globe grapple with a downturn in China and pressure to invest in electrified and autonomous cars.

But sales there have fallen almost 50% in recent months as cautious Chinese consumers have been holding back on big ticket purchases.

This is what a JLR sales manager in Beijing meant when he told us his UK Headquarters has failed to predict the Chinese market and had underestimated Chinese consumers.

In China it has hired 4,000 workers since 2014.

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JLR has sites in Halewood on Merseyside and Solihull, Castle Bromwich and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands.

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