Media Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover to cut jobs at UK factory

LONDON -- Jaguar Land Rover said on Wednesday it will cut around 10 percent of the workforce at its Halewood factory in England as it changes shift patterns to boost efficiency at the site.

JLR builds the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport vehicles at the plant.

JLR posted a 6 percent decline in 2019 sales, hit by the weakening Chinese autos market and falling demand for diesel vehicles in Europe. But it has bounced back in China in recent months and overall company sales rose by 1.3 percent in December.

"Jaguar Land Rover is taking action to optimize performance, enable sustainable growth and safeguard the long-term success of our business," the company said in a statement.

The company is moving Halewood from a three-shift to a “two-plus” shift pattern starting in April, JLR said.

Around 4,500 people work at the Halewood factory, one of three of JLR's car factories in Britain, with roughly 500 jobs affected by Wednesday's announcement.

The Discovery Sport was JLR’s best-selling model globally last year with sales of 83,574, down 13 percent, according to company figures. Range Rover Evoque sales increased 10 percent to 81,688. Both models are also built in JLR’s China factory for local sales.

JLR, like much of the car industry, has also faced the challenge of stepping up investment in zero and low-emissions vehicles as regulations tighten while simultaneously dealing with a drop in demand for some conventionally-powered models.

Nick Gibbs contributed to this report