Jaguar Land Rover facing "perfect storm"

Jaguar Land Rover is cutting thousands more jobs in a bid to save billions

Jaguar Land Rover is cutting thousands more jobs in a bid to save billions

The firm said the move would help it cut about £2.5bn ($3.2bn) in costs over the next 18 months and prepare the company for a courageous new world of electric and autonomous vehicles.

Black Country Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Corin Crane, said that the Government must act to stop the cuts affecting supply chains across the region. In the a year ago alone, the company's global product portfolio has expanded to include the all-electric Jaguar I- PACE, the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport with PHEV derivatives and, most recently, the new Range Rover Evoque, also with next-generation hybrid technology.

Unions expressed concerns about the job losses.

"The West Midlands has seen first first-hand with MG Rover and Carillion, how susceptible integrated supply chains are to severe disruption to larger businesses".

MP for Meriden Dame Caroline Spelman and MP for Birmingham Erdington Jack Dromey both have Jaguar Land Rover workers in their constituencies.

Jaguar Land Rover, which is owned by Tata Motors and employs around 40,000 people in Britain, on Thursday reported a 4.6 per cent drop in full-year sales to just under 600,000 vehicles.

Ford signalled there would be "significant" cuts among its 50,000-strong European workforce under plans to make it more competitive and make its business more sustainable.

The US carmaker is to abandon the multivan market - vehicles with more than five seats - stop manufacturing automatic transmissions in Bordeaux from August, review its operations in Russian Federation, and combine the headquarters of Ford UK and Ford Credit to a site in Dunton, Essex.

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Steven Armstrong, Ford's European group vice president, said the company was taking "decisive action" to transform its European business.

The company said it plans to drop unprofitable models, on top of already announced plans to close an automatic transmission plant in Bordeaux, combine administrative headquarters in Britain and end production of its C-Max vans in Saarlouis, Germany.

He said: "We will invest in the vehicles, services, segments and markets that best support a long-term sustainably profitable business, creating value for all our stakeholders and delivering emotive vehicles to our customers".

It's a tough day for the European auto industry.

Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney said the probability of a no-deal Brexit is "uncomfortably high".

"We expect the immediate impact on Ford's United Kingdom operations to be limited".

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". It's hoping that many will go through a voluntary redundancy programme. It is also working to ramp up its electric vehicle production.

Beyond the £2.5 billion now being sought, rumours abound that Jaguar could be reincarnated as an all-electric brand in the not-too-distant future, better positioning it to deliver on future customer demand and lessening the burden it now places on the far-healthier Land Rover.

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