For now, Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover isn’t saying whether any of its British plants will close as a result of the automaker’s cost- and job-cutting spree, nor whether we’ll see a shedding of models from its portfolio. Many would argue there’s some Jags in need of cutting.
With global sales falling 4.6 percent in 2018, the automaker claims the next phase of its “Charge and Accelerate” transformation plan will leave 4,500 UK workers out of a job.
JLR’s plan is to free up nearly $3.2 billion in costs and cash flow over the next 18 months, helping it realize long-term profit growth while creating a “leaner, more resilient organisation.” It’ll certainly be leaner on the personnel side — 2018 saw an additional 1,500 UK workers laid off. The latest cuts, some accomplished through a voluntary redundancy program, amount to 10 percent of the automaker’s UK workforce.
Dr. Ralph Speth, JLR CEO, called the cuts a response to “multiple geopolitical and regulatory disruptions as well as technology challenges facing the automotive industry.”
Basically, JLR’s in a bind the world over. The company’s Chinese-market sales took a steep tumble in 2018, falling 21.6 percent. Meanwhile, Europe’s sudden pivot away from diesel-powered vehicles left the company holding a dirty bag. Its Jaguar car range no longer resonates with many North American buyers, and trade uncertainties and the ongoing Brexit saga only adds to the company’s woes. The company’s profits turned to losses in 2018.
While the automaker didn’t mention the fate of specific products in its announcement, it’s generally believed that cuts are coming to Jaguar’s model range, spurred by the public’s move away from sedans. Rumors last year suggested the company might be considering an all-electric Jaguar range. Certainly, JLR took the opportunity today to talk up green investments born of newfound savings.
“These investments include today’s announcement that, from later this year, next-generation Electric Drive Units (EDU) will be produced at the company’s Engine Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton,” the company stated. “The Battery Assembly Centre will be one of the largest of its kind in the UK, using new production techniques and technologies to manufacture battery packs for future Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.”
[Image: Jaguar Land Rover]