Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed that 500 jobs will be lost at its Halewood factory on Merseyside.
The carmaker had said in January last year that it planned to cut 4,500 jobs globally as part of a £2.5bn plan to reverse losses.
It was confirmed to Sky News that the 500 jobs to be cut at Halewood were part of this number.
The company said in a statement: “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.
“This change in shift pattern affects around 10% of Halewood’s workforce.
“Jaguar Land Rover Halewood employees have the opportunity to leave through an enhanced voluntary redundancy programme.”
There are just under 4,000 employees at Halewood but JLR said “around 500” jobs were likely to be affected.
Workers at Halewood build the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport vehicles.
Des Quinn, national officer at union Unite, said: “This is a further blow to the UK car industry in general and to our members at Halewood in particular.”
He added: “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.”
JLR posted a 6% decline in 2019 sales, hit by a weakening Chinese auto market and falling demand for diesel vehicles in Europe.
In recent months it staged a slight recovery in China, however, with overall company sales rising by 1.3% in December.
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