Marketing roles bear brunt of Jaguar Land Rover mass layoffs

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British luxury carmaker, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), owned by India's Tata Motors, on Thursday announced to cut around 4,500 jobs, mainly in the Britain, after lowering its employee headcount by 1,500 past year.

Demand in China, which had once been one of its strongest countries but has since been hit by a slowdown, fell by 21.6 percent, the biggest drop of any of its markets.

Unite national officer Des Quinn said: "Unite is positively engaging with Ford over its plans as we seek to safeguard jobs and look after the interests of all the company's employees in the UK".

In the third quarter of 2018, the UK's largest auto maker posted a £90 million loss - a big swing in fortunes from the year before, when it made a £385m profit. Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we are building on those world beating strengths and investing in the future to put the United Kingdom at the forefront of the next generation of electric and autonomous vehicles.

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.

The threat of Brexit has also intensified as the United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union on 29 March.

"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", Speth said. Sales at the SUV-heavy unit, more than double the size of the sports-car business, declined by 6.9 per cent a year ago.

It has hired staff in China and Slovakia in recent years as it opens new plants and last year unveiled plans to cut costs and improve cash flows by 2.5 billion pounds.

The company further said that the next phase of this transformation programme will begin with a voluntary redundancy programme in the United Kingdom, with a view to create a leaner, more resilient organisation with a flatter management structure.

"Our results were undermined by slowing demand in China, along with continued uncertainty in Europe over diesel, Brexit and the WLTP changeover".

Thursday's announcement is expected to include details of sales for 2018, the business outlook for this year, an update on cost savings and planned investment in United Kingdom plants.

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

China is the company's biggest and profitable market, but sales have plummeted almost 50% there.

But sales there have fallen almost 50% in recent months as cautious Chinese consumers have been holding back on big ticket purchases. In the final quarter of 2018, 1,000 employees at Castle Bromwich were put on a three-day working week. In China it has increased its workforce by 4,000 since 2014.

The company's Ryton and Halewood facilities manufacture the Jaguar XE SV Project 8, Range Rover SV Coupé, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque models.

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.