British automotive giant Jaguar Land Rover has announced that it is set up to 500 jobs at its Halewood plant on Merseyside. This is where the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport are built for customers around the world.
The JLR plant employs around 4,000 people an said it will be offering an enhanced voluntary redundancy programme.
JLR insisted that the change, which was agreed as part of pay negotiations last year, was about efficiency rather than loss of volume, as the firm looks to reverse losses of round £2.5bn.
A company statement read: “Through its ongoing transformation programme, Jaguar Land Rover is taking action to optimise performance, enable sustainable growth and safeguard the long-term success of our business. Central to the Halewood manufacturing strategy, we are moving from a three-shift to a ‘two-plus’ shift pattern from April 2020. This will deliver significant operating efficiencies at the plant, while enabling us to meet the growing customer demand for our new Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport.”
Following JLR’s announcement, Unite national officer Des Quinn said: “This is a further blow to the UK car industry in general and to our members at Halewood in particular. Unite will be ensuring that the commitment to limit job losses to voluntary redundancies is fully honoured.
“The challenges being faced at JLR are also being experienced by other UK car factories. The UK’s car industry has plummeted from being the jewel in the crown of the UK’s manufacturing sector in a few short years, directly as a result of government inaction.
“Until the government ensures that there is long-term frictionless trade and no tariffs with the European Union along with meaningful investment in the infrastructure to ensure the success of electric vehicles, the UK’s car industry will continue to experience severe challenges.”