Business World

Thursday 17 January 2019

Jaguar Land Rover and Ford to cut thousands of jobs across Europe

End of the line?: Jaguar Land Rover staff in England face the axe as 5,000 jobs go
End of the line?: Jaguar Land Rover staff in England face the axe as 5,000 jobs go
Restructure: Ford plants, including Dagenham in the UK, face a European shakeup

Edward Taylor and Costas Pitas

Two of the world's biggest carmakers have each announced plans to slash thousands of European jobs.

Ford and Jaguar Land Rover are embarking on radical overhauls of their businesses.

Ford will consider plant closures and discontinue loss-making vehicle lines as part of a turnaround effort aimed at achieving a 6pc operating margin in Europe.

Its European arm has been losing money for years and pressure to restructure its operations has increased since arch-rival General Motors raised profits by selling its Opel and Vauxhall brands to Peugeot.

Ford said it will seek to exit the multivan segment and focus on developing more profitable "crossover" and sports utility vehicles, and will stop manufacturing automatic transmissions in Bordeaux in August.

It will also combine the headquarters of Ford UK and Ford Credit to a site in Essex.

"We are taking decisive action to transform the Ford business in Europe," said Steven Armstrong, Ford group vice-president, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Jaguar Land Rover is set to cut thousands of jobs as the company faces lower demand in China and a slump in sales of diesel cars in Europe.

Jaguar builds a higher proportion of its cars in Britain than any other major or medium-sized carmaker.

It has also spent millions of pounds preparing for Brexit, in case there are tariffs or customs checks.

Britain's business minister Greg Clark said yesterday that it is clear why a no-deal Brexit would add to the problems with further costs and disruption.

Separately, Honda said yesterday that it will shut its British operations for six days in April to figure out how to deal with Brexit.

Reuters

Irish Independent

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