Auto cuts: Jaguar Land Rover and Ford slash jobs

Jaguar Land Rover is cutting 4,500 jobs globally while Ford is slashing thousands of jobs in Europe. CNN's Anna Stewart reports.

Posted: Jan 11, 2019 12:41 AM
Updated: Jan 11, 2019 1:04 AM

Britain's biggest carmaker is cutting thousands more jobs.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will reduce its global workforce by 4,500 as part of a plan to cut costs by £2.5 billion ($3.2 billion), it announced Thursday. That's in addition to 1,500 people who left the company last year.

The company, owned by India's Tata Motors (TTM), has been under pressure in major markets like China, where car sales in 2018 slumped for the first time in 20 years. JLR sales in China, its biggest market, fell around 42% in December and 22% in 2018, the company said Thursday.

It has also suffered from the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and a collapse in sales of diesel vehicles in the wake of Volkswagen's (VLKAF) emissions scandal. In September, it put hundreds of workers at one of its UK plants on a three-day work week.

"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," CEO Ralf Speth said in a statement.

Brexit is one of those factors. The company has said that crashing out of the European Union without maintaining a smooth relationship with the bloc would wipe out more than £1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) of its annual profit.

Speth has also previously cautioned that the "wrong outcome" would jeopardize company plans to spend £80 billion ($102 billion) in the United Kingdom over the next five years.

Thursday's announcement included a commitment to invest in a new UK assembly center for batteries that will be used to make electric drive units at an existing engine plant. JLR is aiming to offer electric versions of all its models by 2020.

JLR is not the only carmaker feeling the pain of disruption sweeping the industry. American rival Ford (F) said Thursday that it would get rid of thousands of jobs in Europe as part of an $11 billion global restructuring program.

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