Jaguar to cut around 4500 jobs 10 | 01 | 2019

    JAGUAR IS SET to shed around 4500 jobs later today. An announcement from Jaguar Land Rover is expected this afternoon, as the company embarks on a major cost-cutting programme. This morning it declined to comment. (Related: JLR factory to close fo two weeks)

    With sales of saloon cars and diesel engines falling, allied to uncertainty surrounding Brexit, today’s job losses will form part of the major £2.5 billion turnaround plan by JLR, which reported a loss of £90 million in the third quarter of 2018. At the time, the company blamed sharply falling sales in China as the key reason. It's believed the plan could ultimately lead to Jaguar becoming a manufacturer of electric-only vehicles. (Related: Jaguar I-Pace is Scottish Car of the Year)

    Following the October results, JLR announced an 18-month cost-cutting plan. At the time, no specific details were given. Clearly today’s announcement will form part of that plan.

    It's expected management, marketing and administrative roles will be hardest hit. There are not expected to be any plant closures or cuts to the current Jaguar or Land Rover model line-ups.

    JLR currently employs around 40,000 people in the UK. Significantly, it has already cut 1000 jobs at its Solihull plant, which it recently closed for two weeks. It’s also worth highlighting a three-day week is currently in place at its Castle Bromwich plant where its saloon models are built.

    There’s no hiding from the fact the current Jaguar saloon range has not delivered the sales figures expected. The XE sales are poor; there’s little life left in the XF, and the XJ …. well, it just doesn’t sell.

    And while Jaguar bosses can take comfort in the combined sales of the E-Pace and F-Pace SUVs, it’s worth highlighting sales of the larger F-Pace have suffered as buyers switch to the smaller E-Pace. In essence, Jaguar shot itself in the foot by creating such a close, and cheaper rival to the F-Pace.

    And that brings us to electric cars. The I-Pace is, without doubt, THE best luxury electric car on the market. And don’t forget this: Jaguar launched the I-Pace before the Audi E-Tron and Mercedes EQC, yet still outperforms the new duo in terms of both range and price. The I-Pace even betters the Tesla Model X.

    And that should give a strong hint as to the direction Jaguar will switch: to a fully electric model range. I understand such a dramatic change in direction is currently being discussed by senior management: it just hasn’t been signed off yet.

    It won’t happen overnight, but I believe that is the route Jaguar will ultimately go.

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    Jim McGill


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