Region reacts to Jaguar Land Rover’s 4,500 job cuts

Business figures across the region have reacted to Jaguar Land Rover’s announcement that it is to cut about 4,500 jobs from its global workforce as part of a £2.5bn turnaround plan.

This is in addition to the 1,500 who left the company during 2018.

Its programme includes the offer of a voluntary redundancy programme at its UK plants, which includes the West Midlands.

The car giant employs around 44,000 staff in the UK.

Jonathan Browning, chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said: “Adverse market developments, heightened business uncertainty, relentless global competition and other external factors beyond their control, mean companies have to sometimes make painful decisions to safeguard their long-term futures.

“While details are yet to fully emerge, we hope that the nature of these cuts will have a limited effect on the supply chain across our area, but obviously will be damaging individually and will be felt locally.

“However, our economy is strong and Coventry and Warwickshire has seen the fastest productivity growth of all LEP areas in recent years.

“We have seen growth across many sectors particularly in legal and professional services, energy, engineering consultancy and civil engineering, logistics, tourism and IT services giving us a balanced economy.

“We have a quality labour force, some leading-edge companies as well as two highly-regarded universities, so we remain a very attractive place in which to do business both for local companies and also international investors.”

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The news of any job losses is always damaging – both for the individuals it affects and also the wider economy.

“But the fact that this is Jaguar Land Rover, which is such a major employer in our region and such a key player in the wider economy, brings that into even sharper focus.

“Until the full details emerge, we won’t know the exact extent of the impact on Coventry and Warwickshire but it’s vital that partners across the region come together to do all we can to work with the company, individuals affected and the supply chain.

“It must be remembered however that Jaguar Land Rover continues to invest extensively in and outside the region, while our wider economy remains strong.”

Despite what was a difficult day for JLR and its employees, there was good news, with the car maker announcing plans for a new battery assembly centre in Hams Hall in North Warwickshire and increased investment in its electric motor factory in Wolverhampton.

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.