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Tata-owned JLR plans job cuts in the UK

Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover is planning to cut jobs as it scales back production at some of its UK sites amid what it termed as “headwinds” impacting the automotive industry.

While Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is yet to confirm the exact number of jobs to be lost, some reports indicate that around 1,000 temporary workers are likely to be hit.

The luxury carmaker said the “review” of its production schedules is being undertaken to ensure market demand is balanced globally and that it will lay out its 2018-19 production plans to the workforce on Monday.

“In light of the continuing headwinds impacting the car industry, we are making some adjustments to our production schedules and the level of agency staff,” a JLR statement said.

“We are however continuing to recruit large numbers of highly skilled engineers, graduates and apprentices as we over-proportionally invest in new products and technologies, it added.

The company stressed it remains committed to its UK plants, having invested more than £4 billion since 2010 to future-proof manufacturing technologies to deliver new models.

Solihull and the nearby Castle Bromwich site are expected to be hit by production cuts. There are 3,200 people employed at the Castle Bromwich site and a further 10,000 at Solihull.

The job cuts are expected largely at Solihull in the West Midlands region of England, with mostly agency staff not having their contracts renewed. JLR employs around 40,000 people across six sites in the UK.

Earlier this year, Britain’s largest car manufacturer had announced plans to cut production at its Halewood plant in Merseyside and pointed to “uncertainty” around the Brexit vote as well as the future of diesel vehicles as the main factors behind the “temporary adjustments”.

Following a review of planned volumes, we are planning to make some temporary adjustments to the production schedule at Halewood in Q2. These changes have been communicated to our workforce,” a JLR spokesperson said in January.

JLR’s global sales grew by 7 per cent in 2017 with the sale of 621,109 cars in a year the company branded as its “best ever” and the seventh consecutive year of successive growth.

However, the Tata Group company said the automotive industry continues to face a “range of challenges” which are adversely affecting consumer confidence.

The knock-on effects of the referendum in favour of Britain’s exit from the European Union in June, 2016 and a hike in diesel taxation have hit the auto industry hard in the UK.

The latest set of cuts come in the wake of a weak UK market, with Jaguar sales down 26 per cent so far this year, compared with last year, while demand for Land Rovers in Britain is down 20 per cent.