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Jaguar Land Rover to cut jobs: source

THOUSANDS COULD GO:The source said that the job losses would be ‘substantial,’ affecting managerial, research, sales and design personnel in a bid to boost cash flow

Reuters, LONDON

Jaguar cars ready for export are parked dockside at ABP port in Southampton, England, on Aug. 16, 2017.

Photo: Reuters

Britain’s biggest automaker, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), is to announce “substantial” job cuts in the thousands, as the company faces a double-digit percentage drop in demand in China and a slump in sales of diesel vehicles in Europe, a source said.

The company builds a higher proportion of its vehicles in Britain than any other major or medium-sized automaker and has spent a lot preparing for Brexit, in case there are tariffs or customs checks.

JLR swung to a loss of £354 million (US$450 million) between April and September last year, and had already last year cut about 1,000 roles in Britain, shut its Solihull plant for two weeks and announced a three-day week at its Castle Bromwich site.

The Tata Motors-owned company has unveiled plans to cut costs and improve cash flow by £2.5 billion, including “reducing employment costs and employment levels.”

Those cuts will be “substantial” and run into the thousands, the source told reporters.

“The announcement on job losses will be substantial, affecting managerial, research, sales, design,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

JLR declined to comment.

JLR, which became Britain’s biggest automaker in 2016, had been on course to build about 1 million vehicles by the turn of the decade, but output last year looks set to have fallen as sales in the first 11 months dropped 4.4 percent.

Sales in China in the third quarter last year fell by 44 percent, the biggest slump of any market for the central England-based firm, turning the country from its biggest sales market to its smallest.

Its chief financial officer in October last year said that the firm’s Changshu plant in China “has basically been closed for most of October in order to allow the inventory of both our vehicles and dealer inventory to start to reduce.”

Like fellow automakers, the company could be faced with adding costs and bureaucracy on vehicles and components in fewer than 80 days if lawmakers next week reject British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

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