Carmakers Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Ford are slashing thousands of jobs in Europe as part of their respective plans to cut costs and restructure the business to better deal with challenging market conditions.
JLR, which has become the UK’s biggest car producer following a successful turnaround led by Indian owner Tata, will reduce its global workforce by 4500, in addition to the 1500 who already left in 2018, the company said in a statement on January 10.
“This strategic review will create a leaner, more resilient organisation with a flatter management structure,” the statement reads.
The move is part of a programme aimed at saving a total of £2.5bn and thus put the company in a position to weather the storm coming from weak Chinese and diesel sales, as well as the competitiveness concerns stemming from Brexit. Its UK workforce of more than 40000 employees looks particularly exposed to the unfolding cost-saving drive as the company already laid off 1000 agency workers in its state-of-the-art company in Solihull, West Midlands, and put on a three-day week another 1000 employees in a nearby facility in Castle Bromwich.
Ford is also cutting thousands of jobs across Europe to “implement a comprehensive transformation strategy aimed at strengthening the Ford brand and creating a sustainably profitable business in Europe”, the company said in a statement on January 9.
“Structural cost improvements will be supported by reduction of surplus labor across all functions – salaried and hourly.”
The company, which employs 53,000 people across 15 plants in the continent, is charging ahead with a $14bn global cost saving plan also aiming at restructuring its loss-making European operations.
Both companies have already publicly warned that a hard Brexit would further affect their UK operations and lead to further cost cuts and restructuring.