By Costas Pitas
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is set to cut more jobs in Britain as it moves all production of its Discovery car to lower-cost Slovakia before building its new Range Rover at an English factory
Britain’s biggest automaker, JLR has previously said its next-generation Discovery will be built at its Slovakia plant and on Monday announced there could be some job cuts in Britain as a result.
“The potential losses of some agency employed staff in the UK is a tough one but forms part of our long-term manufacturing strategy as we transform our business globally,” the company said in a statement.
Moving production from Britain will slash several thousands of pounds off the cost per vehicle, the firm’s Chief Finance Officer Ken Gregor said last year.
The new Range Rover and Range Rover sport will however be built at the firm’s central English Solihull plant on an architecture which is designed to allow for diesel, petrol, electric and hybrid models to be produced.
Monday’s announcement comes after the firm said this year it will cut 1,000 jobs and reduce production at two of its English factories as demand for diesel cars slumps in the face of higher taxes and a regulatory crackdown.
The firm has also blamed Brexit for hitting demand in Europe’s second-largest autos market, where demand fell 6 percent last year, a source told Reuters in April.
JLR said in January it would decide this year whether to build electric cars in its home market after announcing all of its new cars will be available in an electric or hybrid version from 2020.
The company, owned by India’s Tata Motors, builds nearly one in three of Britain’s 1.7 millions cars but is producing its first electric vehicle, the I-PACE, in Austria.
JLR’s new factory in the Slovak city of Nitra is due to begin production by the end of the year and will have a capacity of up to 300,000 vehicles. It already employs 1,400 people there as it gears up to open.
In Britain, the firm built just over 530,000 vehicles last year at three production facilities and also has a separate engine site and headquarters, employing roughly 40,000 people in total.
(Editing by Kate Holton/Keith Weir)