Under Fire From Multiple Foes, Jaguar Land Rover to Cut 4,500 UK Workers

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

For now, Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover isn’t saying whether any of its British plants will close as a result of the automaker’s cost- and job-cutting spree, nor whether we’ll see a shedding of models from its portfolio. Many would argue there’s some Jags in need of cutting.

With global sales falling 4.6 percent in 2018, the automaker claims the next phase of its “Charge and Accelerate” transformation plan will leave 4,500 UK workers out of a job.

JLR’s plan is to free up nearly $3.2 billion in costs and cash flow over the next 18 months, helping it realize long-term profit growth while creating a “leaner, more resilient organisation.” It’ll certainly be leaner on the personnel side — 2018 saw an additional 1,500 UK workers laid off. The latest cuts, some accomplished through a voluntary redundancy program, amount to 10 percent of the automaker’s UK workforce.

Dr. Ralph Speth, JLR CEO, called the cuts a response to “multiple geopolitical and regulatory disruptions as well as technology challenges facing the automotive industry.”

Basically, JLR’s in a bind the world over. The company’s Chinese-market sales took a steep tumble in 2018, falling 21.6 percent. Meanwhile, Europe’s sudden pivot away from diesel-powered vehicles left the company holding a dirty bag. Its Jaguar car range no longer resonates with many North American buyers, and trade uncertainties and the ongoing Brexit saga only adds to the company’s woes. The company’s profits turned to losses in 2018.

While the automaker didn’t mention the fate of specific products in its announcement, it’s generally believed that cuts are coming to Jaguar’s model range, spurred by the public’s move away from sedans. Rumors last year suggested the company might be considering an all-electric Jaguar range. Certainly, JLR took the opportunity today to talk up green investments born of newfound savings.

“These investments include today’s announcement that, from later this year, next-generation Electric Drive Units (EDU) will be produced at the company’s Engine Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton,” the company stated. “The Battery Assembly Centre will be one of the largest of its kind in the UK, using new production techniques and technologies to manufacture battery packs for future Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.”

[Image: Jaguar Land Rover]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Jan 10, 2019

    Is that the Explorer ST? Oh wait.

  • Tstag Tstag on Jan 11, 2019

    Most of JLRs problems are short term: China - likely to be resolved shortly pending US/ China trade agreement Brexit - could be solved by April Diesel - lots of hybrids and electric cars on the way at JLR Longer term issue is what to do with the XE. If Jaguar simply axe it then the XF sales will probably improve. These kind of cars don’t sell well in the US and their home market is saturated with cheap deals on 3 series and C class models. Electrifying Jaguar makes sense. Jaguar should focus on Sportscars, crossovers and the XJ. Land Rover can handle anything else.

  • Dave M. The Outback alternates between decent design and goofy design every generation. 2005 was attractive, 2010 goofy. 2015 decent. 2020 good, but the ‘23 refresh hideous.Looking forward to the Outback hybrid in ‘26…..
  • Lorenzo Subaru had the ideal wagon - in 1995. The Legacy Outback was a straight two-box design with rear quarter and back windows you could see out of, and was available in brown with a 5-speed manual, as God and TTAC commenters intended. It's nice they're not raising prices, but when you've lost the plot, does it matter?
  • Bkojote Remember a month a go when Cleveland wanted to create a more walkable Cleveland and TTAC's 'BIG GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM' dumbest and dullest all collectively crapped their diapers? Here's the thing- look on any American highway and it's littered with people who don't /want/ to be driving or shouldn't be. Look at every Becky on her phone during the morning commute in her Tucson, look at every Brad aggro driving his 84 month loan GMC. Hell look how many drivers nowadays can't even operate a headlight switch. You expect these people to understand a stoplight? In my neighborhood alone 4 people have been rear ended at lights from someone on their phone. Distracted driving over the past 10 years has spiked, and it's only going to get worse unless Becky has an alternative, because no judge is going to pull her license when 'she needs it to get to work!' but heaven forbid she not check fb/tiktok for 40 minutes a day.
  • Scott Shouldn't the The Italian Minister for Business be criticizing The Milano for being too ugly to be Italian?Better use of resources doing that....
  • Steve Biro Frankly, while I can do without Eyesight and automatic start-stop, there is generally less B-S with Subarus in terms of design, utility and off-road chops than with many other brands. I just hope that when they adopt Toyota’s hybrid system, they’ll also use Toyota’s eCVT.