Tata Motors to drive Jaguar Land Rover Discovery out of UK, may cost thousands of jobs
There are 1,800 agency workers in the Solihull plant, out of a workforce of 10,000, said the report, adding that Jaguar Land Rover had said the manufacture of the Discovery would be split between Solihull and Slovakia. The business previously reportedly said that all cars would be available in either an electric, hybrid, petrol or diesel version by 2020.
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), owned by Tata Motors, has revealed plans to move production of its Discovery SUV from Birmingham to Slovakia next year, said a Mirror report. The consequences may fall heavily on its workforce as the move may hit 10,000 potential jobs.
The Solihull factory, where the model is currently manufactured, will instead be used to build a new series of Range Rover models, the company said.
"The potential losses of some agency employed staff in the UK is a tough one but forms part of our long-term manufacturing strategy as we transform our business globally," a company statement said, but insisted the business is "committed to the UK".
There are 1,800 agency workers in the Solihull plant, out of a workforce of 10,000, said the report, adding that Jaguar Land Rover had said the manufacture of the Discovery would be split between Solihull and Slovakia.
The business previously reportedly said that all cars would be available in either an electric, hybrid, petrol or diesel version by 2020.
The Jaguar Land Rover builds nearly one in three of Britain`s 1.7 millions cars but is producing its first electric vehicle, the I-PACE, in Austria, said a Reuters report.
Moving production from Britain will slash several thousands of pounds off the cost per vehicle, the firm`s Chief Finance Officer Ken Gregor had reportedly said last year.
Monday`s announcement comes after the firm said this year it will cut 1,000 jobs and reduce production at two of its English factories as demand for diesel cars slumps in the face of higher taxes and a regulatory crackdown, said Reuters report.
The firm has also blamed Brexit for hitting demand in Europe`s second-largest autos market, where demand fell 6 percent last year, a source told Reuters in April.
Professor David Bailey, motor industry specialist at Aston Business School, told Mirror, if JLR was "really committed" to UK production and moving the Discovery did "pave the way" for other models to be built in the West Midlands, then that was a "good thing". "But at the moment, JLR has not told us what other models this will open the door to, and what level of investment they are pledging at Solihull."
He said given previous job losses at JLR and production cut backs at Castle Bromwich this latest development was "arguably further negative news", he told Mirror, adding "We need to know how many jobs, what other models this will open the door to and what level of investment they are talking about."
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According to the Reuters report, JLR`s new factory in the Slovak city of Nitra is due to begin production by the end of the year and will have a capacity of up to 300,000 vehicles. The company has already employed 1,400 people there as it gears up to open.