Europe Just Got Hit With a Massive Wave of Auto Job Cuts


Britain's biggest auto maker has announced it will axe more than 4,000 jobs - and says Brexit is a factor in the decision.

It is to make £2.5 billion of cost savings and most of the cuts will be in the UK.

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.

Job losses, expected to be announced on Thursday, will mainly involved management, marketing and administrative roles but it is feared there could be some cuts in production too.

The retrenchment sits on the blunt edge of a £2.5bn cost-cutting plan, precipitated by declining Chinese sales, the ongoing fallout from the dieselgate scandal and fears for Britain's trading status post Brexit.

Events beyond the UK's shores have hit the company's bottom line harder still.

But despite the bleak outlook JLR moved to commit to long-term investment in the region, announcing that its next generation of drive units for electric vehicles will be built at Wolverhampton's i54 site.

Armstrong also warned a no-deal Brexit could result in further job losses in the United Kingdom, and did not rule out the closure of British plants if there were no agreement.

Ralf Speth, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, said: "We are taking decisive action to help deliver long-term growth, in the face of multiple geopolitical and regulatory disruptions as well as technology challenges facing the automotive industry".

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"This is more concerning news for workers across Jaguar Land Rover today, who have suffered months of uncertainty, not least as a result of the government's Brexit chaos", she said.

Registrations dropped 6.8 percent past year to 2.37 million vehicles, the largest fall since sales nosedived 11.3 percent in 2008, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed.

"Rolls-Royce belongs to Britain", he said.

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". JRL said they come as demand for diesel-powered vehicles continues to fall. The exact number of cuts will be determined after negotiations with workers' groups, Reuters reports.

Industry insiders have called the plans a "perfect storm".

China is the company's biggest and most profitable market.

Most recently it announced it would move all production of the Land Rover Discovery to a new plant in Slovakia with plans to hire up to 3,000 workers. It has also shifted to a three-day week at Castle Bromwich, which builds the Jaguar XE and XF sedans.

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

But the company has been saying for more than a year that Brexit uncertainty would eventually take its toll on the perception of the United Kingdom as a stable and competitive base for global manufacturing.