JLR to cut Solihull jobs

Jaguar Land Rover brand sign

Jaguar Land Rover, Britain's biggest carmaker, is poised to announce the elimination of around 1,000 posts now filled by workers on short-term contracts as it grapples with slumping United Kingdom sales of diesel autos and uncertainty around Brexit.

While the company did not release a figure, the United Kingdom media, including Reuters, reported that up to 1,000 jobs would be shed and production would be cut at its Solihuall and Castle Bromwich plants.

"Concern around the future of petrol and diesel engines - and general global economic and political uncertainty - and it's clear to see why the industry is seeing an impact on vehicle sales". But while global sales boomed, United Kingdom sales fell 15.8% because of weakening consumer confidence.

JLR employs 40,000 people in the United Kingdom, 10,000 at Solihull.

However, in a JLR statement made on Friday, the manufacturer said: 'In light of the continuing headwinds impacting the auto industry, we are making some adjustments to our production schedules and the level of agency staff.

The auto giant has cited "continuing headwinds" impacting the vehicle industry for the decision.

Jaguar XE
The Solihull plant produces cars including the XE saloon

Year to date, Land Rover's sales have slumped by 20 per cent compared to the same period last year.

In a statement, JLR referred to Brexit and diesel taxes obliquely as "headwinds".

Despite the reported job losses, JLR says it plans to continue to recruit "large numbers of highly skilled engineers, graduates and apprentices". Earlier in the year, JLR announced that it would cut production at its Halewood plant in Merseyside in light of Brexit uncertainty.

Last year, global sales hit a record, but the company acknowledged that the United Kingdom market was "tough". Brexit has added to consumer concerns, prompting potential customers to delay new vehicle purchases, but JLR will stress that its long-term production plans remain unchanged.

The UK government has said it will ban sales of new diesel and petrol cars by 2040 to improve air quality and public health.

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