The move comes following parent company’s Tata Motors review and the decision to move production of the ever-popular Discovery model abroad, though this latest twist will see all remaining Solihull production heading to Slovakia. The move will come into force early in the new year.
Jaguar Land Rover has declared the need for “decisive action” in light of the current uncertainty in UK trade as a result of Brexit negotiations and the “challenging” environment for business. The JLR management believes the move will “safeguard long-term success” for the business and is therefore essential.
The latest announcement of 200 job losses will affect agency workers and temporary staff in the most part, though the business is also looking for voluntary redundancies. The job cuts come after a sharp decline in sales in the UK, blamed partly on Brexit but also on vehicle taxation and uncertainty around the future of diesel cars. It’s been confirmed that the losses will be in addition to the 1,000 job roles to go at the Solihull production plant announced at the beginning of the financial year in April.
The Wolverhampton production centre, where engines are manufactured, could see a pause in production, though that would be only temporary at this stage and likely to happen over the Christmas period, which is traditionally quieter anyway. Around 500 staff are expected to be affected.
The Jaguar Land Rover site at Castle Bromwich saw a similar number of employees affected by a reduction in hours when around 500 people were put on to a three-day week schedule from September to Christmas due to a drop in demand. Salaried staff have continued as close to normal as possible, and those workers who have been impacted have continued to receive their full salary.
Despite the significant decision of moving this production to Slovakia, a spokesperson for Jaguar Land Rover insisted that the company is still committed to the UK and will continue to make significant investment despite the challenging circumstances. They stress that whilst it is a difficult decision for UK workers, it is part of a much wider global strategic plan.
Critics of the intended move have highlighted warning signs since the EU referendum in 2016 and point out the number of job losses across the sector.