Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is to shed jobs at its Solihull plant, blaming "continuing headwinds impacting the vehicle industry".
Industry representatives had warned that the impact of "diesel demonstration" - and concerns for the future of the sector following Brexit - could mount pressure on United Kingdom vehicle makers, though brands such as Nissan and Vauxhall both recently committed to continued assembly at their British factories.
The Tata Motors-owned carmaker said it remained committed to its United Kingdom plants, and would continue to recruit engineers, graduates and apprentices, but would be making adjustments to its production schedule and level of agency staff as part of regular reviews to ensure market demand was balanced globally.
It said it was continuing to recruit large numbers of engineers and apprentices and it remained committed to its United Kingdom plants. The jobs will be lost from the Solihull and Castle Bromwich factory sites. The company stressed it remains committed to its United Kingdom plants, having invested more than 4 billion pounds since 2010 to future-proof manufacturing technologies to deliver new models.
The carmaker said it would make an announcement to employees on Monday regarding its production plans for 2018/19. There are 3,200 people employed at the Castle Bromwich site and a further 10,000 at Solihull.
Jaguar sales were down 26% to the end of March while Land Rover demand dropped 20% during the same period. Earlier in 2018 JLR cut production at the Halewood, Merseyside plant, citing Brexit uncertainty and the dwindling market for diesel cars.
British new vehicle registrations have been falling for a year which the auto industry body has partly blamed on weakening consumer confidence in the wake of the Brexit vote, after record demand in 2015 and 2016.
A source told new agency Reuters that 1,000 roles would be slashed as part of the moves. Most of JLR's United Kingdom sales are diesel vehicles. JLR blamed the continuing uncertainty over diesel for the downturn.
"With the big turn against diesel engines, Jaguar Land Rover is particularly exposed as more than 90% of its United Kingdom sales are diesels".
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