Jaguar Land Rover facing "perfect storm"

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Marketers, alongside managers and administrators, working for Jaguar Land Rover are expected to bear the brunt of a mass layoff at the vehicle manufacturer after it announced that 5,000 of its 44,000 strong United Kingdom workforce would lose their jobs.

Ford also said on Thursday it will cut thousands of jobs in Europe, exit unprofitable markets and discontinue loss-making vehicle lines as part of a turnaround effort aimed at improving profit margins in the region.

The savings and "cashflow improvements" will be made over the next 18 months and the new job losses are in addition to 1,500 workers who left the company previous year.

Sales in China between July and September 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.

But the firm has promised United Kingdom investment with Electric Drive Units to be built in Wolverhampton and new electric Battery Assembly Centre at Hams Hall, North Warwickshire.

In the darkest day for the British automotive industry since the collapse of Rover Group 14 years ago with the loss of 6,000 jobs in Birmingham, Jaguar Land Rover said it had to take "decisive action" to secure the long-term future of the company.

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Around 4,000 full-time staff work at the JLR site in Halewood, along with around 2,000 agency staff.

In China, demand was adversely impacted by consumer uncertainty following import duty changes and escalating trade tensions with the US.

Armstrong also warned a no-deal Brexit could result in further job losses in the United Kingdom, and did not rule out the closure of British plants if there were no agreement. One thousand people employed at its Castle Bromwich factory had their working week cut down to three days. JRL said they come as demand for diesel-powered vehicles continues to fall.

In 2017, 1,000 temporary contract workers at its plant in Solihull lost their jobs.

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

The workforce would be reduced through a "Voluntary Redundancy Programme", the company said.

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The central English firm builds a higher proportion of its cars in Britain than any other major or medium-sized carmaker and has also spent millions of pounds preparing for Brexit, in case there are tariffs or customs checks.

Meanwhile, Jaguar has been adding to its workforce elsewhere in the world. In China it has increased its workforce by 4,000 since 2014.

They are also concerned that the company is not permanently reducing its United Kingdom production capacity in the face of what could prove to be short-term headwinds.

Recently JLR announced it would move all production of the Land Rover Discovery to a new plant in Slovakia with plans to hire up to 3,000 workers.

"Given the difficulties that they're going add further costs and further disruption from a no-deal Brexit, it's clear why they've been so clear that this would be against their interests", said business minister Greg Clark.

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