British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) (TAMO.NS) said on Wednesday it will cut around 10% of the workforce at its northern English Halewood factory as it changes shift patterns to boost efficiency at the site.
The Unite Union said the cuts were linked to slower than forecast growth of the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport vehicles, which are made at the plant. The company said the decision was not related to loss of volumes.
JLR posted a 6% decline in 2019 sales, hit by the weakening Chinese autos market and falling demand for diesel vehicles in Europe. But it has bounced back in China in recent months and overall company sales rose by 1.3% in December.
“Jaguar Land Rover is taking action to optimize performance, enable sustainable growth and safeguard the long-term success of our business,” the company said in a statement.
“Central to the Halewood manufacturing strategy, we are moving from a three shift to a “two-plus” shift pattern from April 2020.”
Around 4,5000 people work at the Halewood factory, one of three of JLR’s car factories in Britain, with roughly 500 jobs affected by Wednesday’s announcement.
JLR, like much of the car industry, has also faced the challenge of stepping up investment in zero and low-emissions vehicles as regulations tighten while simultaneously dealing with a drop in demand for some conventionally-powered models.
Source: LONDON (Reuters)