Jaguar Land Rover confirms 4,500 redundancies as it implements transformation programme

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Jaguar Land Rover, the UK’s largest vehicle manufacturer, has outlined the next phase of its ‘Charge and Accelerate’ transformation programme aimed at delivering £2.5bn in cost reductions and cashflow improvements over the next 18 months.

The most significant consequence of the announcement will be a 4,500 reduction in headcount across its global operations - the bulk of the them in the UK. The latest redundancies are in addition to the 1,500 announced by the company late last year.

JLR, owned by Tata Motors, said the job losses would begin with a voluntary redundancy programme in the UK. It added that the strategic review was designed to create a leaner, more resilient organisation with a flatter management structure.

CEO Ralf Speth 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.”

So far, the ‘Charge and Accelerate’ programme has identified over £1bn of improvements, with more than £500mn already realised in 2018. The company said the savings and improvements achieved would enable it to fund vital investments into technology to safeguard its future - many of them in its West Midlands heartland.

Amongst the investments are plans for the company’s Engine Manufacturing Centre at i54, outside Wolverhampton, to begin production later this year of next-generation Electric Drive Units (EDU).

These EDUs will be powered by batteries assembled at a new Jaguar Land Rover Battery Assembly Centre located at Hams Hall, North Warwickshire.

The Battery Assembly Centre will be one of the largest of its kind in the UK, using new production techniques and technologies to manufacture battery packs for future Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.

The company said the latest investments reinforced its commitment to the West Midlands and the wider UK.

Despite a recent dip in profits, much of the capital generated by the company over the past decade since its purchase by Tata from Ford has been reinvested into the business, helping it to achieve strong growth.

In the last year alone, the company has continued its global expansion with the opening of its new manufacturing plant in Slovakia - where the new Discovery is being produced - as well as investment into specialist engineering hubs in the Republic of Ireland, Hungary and Manchester.

Also last year, JLR confirmed plans to invest in its Solihull plant to support the introduction of the next generation Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.

“The next chapter in the story of the Jaguar and Land Rover brands will be the most exciting - and challenging - in our history. Revealing the iconic Defender, investing in cleaner, smarter, more desirable cars and electrifying our facilities to manufacture a future range of British-built electric vehicles will all form part of building a globally competitive and flourishing company,” added Dr Speth.