JLR to "cut 5000 United Kingdom jobs"

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JLR is expected to confirm earlier reports that it plans to cut "up to 5,000 jobs" in the United Kingdom later today, while Ford has announced its own plans to cut "thousands" of jobs from its workforce across the region.

It's also been announced that more jobs are likely to be lost at Ford.

A spokesman for the union Unite said: "Unite is not aware of any further job losses to those already announced and planned for early in the new year at Jaguar Land Rover, Unite also expects ongoing transparency regarding the hard current climate the automotive sector is operating in the United Kingdom and its impact with the company".

Jaguar Land Rover said earlier that its retail sales fell 4.6 per cent in 2018, citing uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the trade-war driven Chinese slump that lowered its sales in the country by 22 per cent, and consumer misgivings around the diesel engines that power much of its Land Rover lineup.

And JLR is also one of the most heavily exposed auto makers to continuing consumer confusion about the wisdom of buying a diesel vehicle in the aftermath of the VW emissions scandal.

Jaguar also announced further investment in electrification, with electric drive units to be built at its factory in Wolverhampton and a new battery assembly centre at Hams Hall in Birmingham.

"We are taking decisive action to deliver long-term growth, in the face of multiple geopolitical and regulatory disruptions as well as technology challenges facing the automotive industry", said Ralf Speth, CEO, JLR.

Jaguar employs 44,000 workers at sites in Halewood on Merseyside and Solihull, Castle Bromwich and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands.

The firm reported a £90m pre-tax loss in the three months to 30 September, compared with a £385m profit in the same period in 2017.

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But sales in China have fallen almost 50% in recent months as cautious Chinese consumers have been holding back on big ticket purchases amid global trade tensions.

In the United Kingdom, "continuing uncertainty related to Brexit" was blamed.

JLR said the 4,500 global redundancies will start will voluntary redundancies as unions promised to "scrutinise the business case" for the cuts. "It is important that government, employers and unions work together to ensure supply chains are not harmed, and that Brexit does not cost us any more jobs".

Jaguar Land Rover announced it is cutting thousands of jobs.

"Our results were undermined by slowing demand in China, along with continued uncertainty in Europe over diesel, Brexit and the WLTP changeover".

A Ford spokesman said the auto maker now assumes that any Brexit deal would keep tariff-free trade between Britain and Europe.

Meanwhile, Jaguar has been adding to its workforce elsewhere in the world. Production workers won't be affected, the automaker confirmed. "To weather this volatile external scenario, we have launched a comprehensive turnaround plan to significantly improve our free cash flows and profitability".

Britain's business minister Greg Clark said a no-deal Brexit would be a disaster for the firm.