Jaguar Land Rover will cut production at its Castle Bromwich and Solihull plants and not renew the contracts of around 1,000 temporary workers due to ‘continuing headwinds impacting the car industry’, it said today.
The brand, which is the UK’s biggest car maker, will trim production following the sharp fall in diesel demand that contributed to a drop in sales for the British marques last year.
Full details of the car manufacturer’s plans will be announced on Monday, according to insiders.
Around 1,000 agency workers will not have their contracts renewed at the Jaguar Land Rover plant in Solihull
New car sales fell 5.7 per cent in the UK in 2017 – the first decline in registrations for six years.
Much of the slump was down to the monumental dive in diesel sales, which fell by 16 per cent on the back of additional surcharges and changes to VED introduced by the Government last April.
Industry representatives had warned that the impact of ‘diesel demonstration’ – and concerns for the future of the sector following Brexit – could mount pressure on UK car makers, though brands such as Nissan and Vauxhall both recently committed to continued assembly at their British factories.
However, in a JLR statement made on Friday, the manufacturer said: ‘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.
‘We are however continuing to recruit large numbers of highly skilled engineers, graduates and apprentices as we are over-proportionally invested in new products and technologies.
‘We also remain committed to our UK plants in which we have invested more than £4 billion since 2010 to future proof manufacturing technologies to deliver new models.’
A source told new agency Reuters that 1,000 roles would be slashed as part of the moves
Jaguar sales have so far fallen by 26 per cent in the first three months of 2018, while Land Rover registrations in the UK are down 20 per cent
JLR employs some 40,000 people in total making it the UK’s biggest car manufacturer in terms of both output and heads.
Latest employee figures say there are 3,200 people employed at the Castle Bromwich site and a further 10,000 at Solihull.
The Lode Lane plant in Solihull is the current production site for volume-selling models including the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Land Rover Discovery and Jaguar F-Pace SUV.
Last year, JLR’s British plants – which also includes the factory in Halewood – produced 532,107 vehicles last year.
That was 2.3 per cent fewer than in 2016.
Jaguar sales have so far fallen by 26 per cent in the first three months of 2018, while Land Rover registrations in the UK are down 20 per cent.
A source told new agency Reuters that 1,000 roles would be slashed as part of the moves.
Jaguar Land Rover was the biggest car producer in the UK last year
Dom Tribe, automotive sector specialist at management consultancy Vendigital, said: ‘This decision by Jaguar Land Rover is a further sign of ongoing uncertainty in the automotive industry.
‘As an industry in which investment is heavily reliant on forward planning, industry bodies have been lobbying extensively for greater clarity around a Brexit trade deal.
‘With JLR’s UK production facilities exporting around 75 per cent of its vehicles and importing many parts from the EU, this action is in part an effort to help mitigate potentially-costly tariffs, which could significantly damage its bottom line.
‘The downturn in demand for diesel-powered vehicles will have also played a key role in this decision. Diesel cars make up around 90 per cent of JLR’s production output in the UK and the company is behind the curve with regards to bringing hybrid and all-electric alternatives to market.’