Brexit stage left: It is believed that the unstable climate created by the impending ‘Brexit’ deal has influenced Jaguar Land Rover’s decision to reduce its workforce by about 4500 people.
JAGUAR Land Rover (JLR) has confirmed that about 4500 people will be cut from its global workforce, part of a “major transformation plan to lay foundations for long-term sustainable profitable growth”, as the deadline for the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) looms.
However, the effects are still yet to be felt in Australia as a local JLR spokesperson told GoAuto: “We are assessing the impact this plan may have in Australia.
“No further comment at this stage.”
The UK’s largest automotive manufacturer has dubbed the plan ‘Charge and Accelerate’ and aims to “deliver £2.5 billion ($A4.43 billion) in cost reductions and cashflow improvements over 18 months as well as long-term strategic operating efficiencies”.
A key part of its cost-cutting measures is the reduction of its circa-43,000-strong global workforce, starting with a voluntary redundancy programme in the UK. Last year also saw an additional 1500 jobs shed from JLR.
A softening Chinese market, as well as plummeting diesel sales, are believed to be contributing to JLR’s bottom-line tightening as parent company Tata Motors reported a quarterly loss (July – September) of $142 million ($A197.32 million).
In Australia, Jaguar sales last year jumped 7.9 per cent to 2679 vehicles, compared to 2017, while Land Rover’s volume dipped 23.1 per cent, to 10,089 units.
Meanwhile, the second part of JLR’s plan will focus on investments in future technologies, such as the next-generation Electric Drive Units (EDU) and further development of its Battery Assembly Centre in North Warwickshire, UK.
JLR chief executive officer Doctor Ralf Speth said the focus for the company is now on long-term viability.
“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,” he said.
“The ‘Charge and Accelerate’ programme combines efficiency measures with targeted investment, safeguarding our future and ensuring that we maximise the opportunities created by growing demand for autonomous, connected, electric and shared technologies.
“The next chapter in the story of the Jaguar and Land Rover brands will be the most exciting – and challenging – in our history.
“Revealing the iconic Defender, investing in cleaner, smarter, more desirable cars and electrifying our facilities to manufacture a future range of British-built electric vehicles will all form part of building a globally competitive and flourishing company.”