Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Europe Just Got Hit With a Massive Wave of Auto Job Cuts

PA Wire  PA Images PA Wire PA Images
Jeannette Daniel | 10 January, 2019, 22:41

Meanwhile, Ford signalled "significant" cuts among its 50,000-strong European workforce under plans to make it more competitive and make its business more sustainable.

Jaguar Land Rover is facing a range of high-profile business challenges, including lower demand in China and a slump in sales of diesel cars in Europe.

Previous year it was rumoured that as part of a £2.5 billion savings plan for the company thousands of jobs would be axed, but now it has been confirmed.

The company, which employs almost 40,000 people in Britain and has been boosting its workforce at new plants in China and Slovakia in recent years, declined to comment when contacted by Reuters on Thursday.

The company said in July past year that it needed more certainty around Brexit in order to continue investing in its United Kingdom operation.

The company started consultations with unions, with details of job cuts not expected until later in the year, although staff based at Warley in Brentwood will move to Dunton in Essex.

The firm, owned by Indian conglomerate Tata, cut 1,000 temporary contract workers at its plant in Solihull in 2017.

The job cuts announced Thursday will affect mostly workers in the United Kingdom, including contractors, senior management, supervisors, engineering, and design workers, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named discussing details that weren't announced.

Trade tensions between the United States and China have made Chinese consumers more cautious.

More news: IBM Unveils 'World's First Commercial Quantum Computer'

Production-line staff will not be affected "at this stage", said the source.

He said: "We will invest in the vehicles, services, segments and markets that best support a long-term sustainably profitable business, creating value for all our stakeholders and delivering emotive vehicles to our customers".

It's a tough day for the European auto industry.

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

Armstrong was quoted by the Financial Times as saying the number of layoffs would be in the "thousands" but declined to repeat that quantity in a conference call with reporters, saying only that there would be a "substantial impact" on the workforce.

"Unite is positively engaging with Ford over its plans as we seek to safeguard jobs and look after the interests of all the company's employees in the UK".

The automaker said it would start off by offering voluntary redundancies to United Kingdom workers. In September, Jaguar Land Rover boss Speth warned that the wrong Brexit deal could cost tens of thousands of vehicle jobs and risks production at the firm.

General Motors said in November it would lay off 14,000 factory and white-collar workers in North America and put five plants up for possible closure as it restructures to cut costs and focus more on autonomous and electric technology.

Jaguar Land Rover announced it is cutting thousands of jobs.

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