Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the UK’s largest vehicle manufacturer, is to cut 4,500 jobs as part of efforts to make savings of £2.5billion.
The company, which has its headquarters at Gaydon and is one of the district’s biggest employers, will launch a voluntary redundancy programme in the UK.
The business-wide organisation review, aimed at reducing the size of its global workforce by around 4,500 people, comes in addition to the 1,500 who left the company during 2018.
JLR say the action will create a leaner, more resilient organisation with a flatter management structure, while the savings and improvements achieved will enable it to fund vital investments into technology to safeguard its future.
The company, which employs 40,000 people in the UK, has been affected by difficult trading in China, a downturn in diesel sales and uncertainty over Brexit.
Jaguar Land Rover, which has invested heavily in producing diesel cars in recent years, has been particularly hit by a drop in diesel car sales following the VW emissions scandal.
Prof Dr Raff Speth, chief executive officer of Jaguar Land Rover, said: “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.”
Reacting to the news Jonathan Browning, chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said: “This is clearly a difficult day for Jaguar Land Rover and its employees.
“Adverse market developments, heightened business uncertainty, relentless global competition and other external factors beyond their control, mean companies have to sometimes make painful decisions to safeguard their long-term futures.
“While details are yet to fully emerge, we hope that the nature of these cuts will have a limited effect on the supply chain across our area, but obviously will be damaging individually and will be felt locally.
“However, our economy is strong and Coventry and Warwickshire has seen the fastest productivity growth of all LEP areas in recent years.
“We have seen growth across many sectors particularly in legal and professional services, energy, engineering consultancy and civil engineering, logistics, tourism and IT services giving us a balanced economy.
“We have a quality labour force, some leading-edge companies as well as two highly-regarded universities, so we remain a very attractive place in which to do business both for local companies and also international investors.”
Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, added: “The news of any job losses is always damaging – both for the individuals it affects and also the wider economy.
“But the fact that this is Jaguar Land Rover, which is such a major employer in our region and such a key player in the wider economy, brings that into even sharper focus.
“Until the full details emerge, we won’t know the exact extent of the impact on Coventry and Warwickshire but it’s vital that partners across the region come together to do all we can to work with the company, individuals affected and the supply chain.
“It must be remembered however that Jaguar Land Rover continues to invest extensively in and outside the region, while our wider economy remains strong.”