Tata Motors' JLR to cut jobs in thousands amid China sales crunch

Staff gather outside the Jaguar Land Rover site in Halewood Knowsley Merseyside. The luxury carmaker which employs 44,000 workers in the UK at sites in Halewood on Merseyside and Solihull Castle Bromwich and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands is givi

Staff gather outside the Jaguar Land Rover site in Halewood Knowsley Merseyside. The luxury carmaker which employs 44,000 workers in the UK at sites in Halewood on Merseyside and Solihull Castle Bromwich and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands is givi

The job cuts come as Ford and JLR have been hit by a fall in demand for diesel-engined cars and after European policy-makers last month agreed stricter pollution limits, forcing auto makers to accelerate investments to make electric cars.

JLR also revealed that electric drive units will be produced at the i54 engine factory in Wolverhampton as it increases its investment in electrification.

Meanwhile, Ford signalled "significant" cuts among its 50,000-strong European workforce under plans to make it more competitive and make its business more sustainable.

Ninety per cent of its vehicles are diesel-powered, although it has been investing in new electric and hybrid vehicles.

A year ago it was rumoured that as part of a £2.5 billion savings plan for the company thousands of jobs would be axed, but now it has been confirmed.

Armstrong said that there "will be thousands" of job losses at Ford, which now employs 53,000 people in Europe, including its two United Kingdom engine plants at Bridgend and Dagenham.

The company builds a higher proportion of its cars in Britain than any other major or medium-sized automaker and has spent millions of pounds preparing for Brexit, in case there are tariffs or customs checks between the United Kingdom and Europe.

Details of job cuts are not expected until later in the year, although staff based at Warley in the West Midlands will move to Dunton in Essex.

The firm reported a £90m pre-tax loss in the three months to 30 September, compared with a £385m profit in the same period in 2017.

"The economic slowdown in China along with ongoing trade tensions is continuing to influence consumer confidence", said Jaguar Land Rover Chief Commercial Officer Felix Brautigam.

Production-line staff will not be affected "at this stage", said the source. That move will cost 1,200 jobs.

New all-electric vehicles will be offered for all Ford models, while there will be a more "targeted" line-up of models in the future.

A Ford spokesman said the auto maker now assumes that any Brexit deal would keep tariff-free trade between Britain and Europe. Separately, Ford has warned that more than 7,000 engine and gearbox manufacturing and development jobs are under threat after the American company said it is shaking up its European operations.

Jaguar Land Rover and Ford are preparing to implement cost cutting plans which will result in thousands of job losses for the UK's automotive sector.

Ford's Armstrong said pressure to build electric and hybrid cars had forced the vehicle maker to make choices about where to allocate its capital.

"The next stage of this transformation programme will begin with a voluntary redundancy programme in the U.K. This strategic review will create a leaner, more resilient organisation with a flatter management structure", the company added.

The FT reported that Ford's job losses will come as it bids to cut $14bn globally.

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