Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover has announced further job losses linked to its global business review under the ‘Charge and Accelerate’ programme. Going ahead, the company expects to trim around 4,500 jobs from its ranks in addition to the 1,500 it has already lost.
The company has been under business pressure on a variety of fronts, from lower car sales in its home market over the past couple of years linked to the uncertainty over Brexit, a downturn in its core diesel engine market as a backlash of Dieselgate and a significant dip in car sales in China, seen as being core to its global growth ambitions.
The urgent reorientation of Jaguar Land Rover’s business builds on initiatives like a three day week and moves to shift production to lower cost centres.
Company CEO Ralf Speth says, “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. The ‘Charge and Accelerate’ programme combines efficiency measures with targeted investment, safeguarding our future and ensuring that we maximise the opportunities created by growing demand for Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared technologies.”
In monetary terms, the company expects to save a further one billion Pound Sterling over the 500 million Pound Sterling already saved this year.
The focus is on fast tracking the company’s move into electric and electric assisted vehicles, with major investments into next-generation Electric Drive Units (EDU) to be produced at the company’s Engine Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton. Further investments are slated for the new Battery Assembly Centre located at Hams Hall.
Despite the significant dip in sales during 2018, Jaguar Land Rover has pursued targeted expansion and completion of long term projects including its new plant in Slovakia. It has also reiterated its intention to keep UK manufacturing going at its Solihull plant. However, there may be some challenges to that linked to the mess over Brexit.
Speth continues, “The next chapter in the story of the Jaguar and Land Rover brands will be the most exciting – and challenging – in our history. Revealing the iconic Defender, investing in cleaner, smarter, more desirable cars and electrifying our facilities to manufacture a future range of British-built electric vehicles will all form part of building a globally competitive and flourishing company.”