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Hundreds more jobs to be cut at Jaguar Land Rover as production switch nears

Felix Nobes 29th Nov, 2018 Updated: 30th Nov, 2018

HUNDREDS more jobs will be cut at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull plant when production of the Discovery model moves to Slovakia in the new year.

The car manufacturer announced long anticipated ‘changes to its production schedule’ at its Lode Lane factory last Thursday (November 29).

At least 200 temporary agency staff will lose their jobs while some permanent staff will be offered voluntary redundancy.

The company warned of cuts in June after announcing the production switch to a new factory in Nitra, Slovakia, which opened at the end of last month.

The switch will enable the development of the ‘next generation’ Range Rover at the Lode Lane plant, as the company continues to invest in electric technology.

The lay-offs have also been attributed to a fall in global sales and continuing fluctuations in demand, including from higher taxes of diesel.

A company statement reads: “Jaguar Land Rover is continuing to invest heavily in its UK manufacturing operations.

“The external environment remains challenging and the company is taking decisive actions to achieve the necessary operational efficiencies to safeguard long-term success.

“To deliver a growing range of electrified cars for our customers we are making tough decisions, but the transformation of the business relies on this.

“Today, we have confirmed that Solihull will make some changes to its production schedule. Customer orders will not be impacted by any of these changes.

“In response to adjustments in vehicle production schedules, the EMC will take a temporary pause in production in its machine and assembly halls.

“Maintenance and salaried staff will continue as normal and those impacted continue to receive full pay for this period.”

JLR has also attributed cutbacks to Brexit uncertainty and China slashing import tariffs.

Unite national officer Des Quinn said: “Unite’s priority during this planned transition in production and changes to shifts is to safeguard as many jobs as possible.

“In the long-term the move of Discovery production to Slovakia will bring on stream new models at Solihull and secure the future of the plant for years to come.

“In the short-term however, Jaguar Land Rover workers and many in the supply chain will have questions about what the transition to the new production and shift changes means for their jobs.”

Last month, there was an unexpected two-week shutdown in production at Lode Lane.

The news came weeks after 2,000 agency staff members at JLR’s Castle Bromwich factory were told they will switch to a three-day week until Christmas.

The company announced the lay-off of 1,000 workers across its West Midlands plants in April.

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