Jaguar Land Rover has indicated it will have to cut some British jobs after taking the decision to move all production of its Discovery SUV from Britain to Slovakia.
The group, owned by India’s Tata Motors, had previously said that only some of its next generation Discovery would be built at its Slovakia plant, with some production remaining at its Solihull factory near Birmingham.
However, today it said that all production of the model will be moved abroad in early 2019 and that the move was likely to result in job losses for some agency workers in Britain.
Going abroad: All production of the Discovery model will be moved outside the UK
‘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,’ the company said in a statement.
The car maker also said it would invest millions in a revamp of its Solihull factory, where the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models will be built.
In addition, the next Range Rover Evoque will be built at a site in Halewood.
The Lode Lane plant in Solihull is the current production site for volume-selling models including the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Land Rover Discovery and Jaguar F-Pace SUV.
The news comes as Jaguar Land Rover opened a £240million factory in Itatiaia, Brazil, in 2016. It also has a factory in China and an assembly operation in India.
Profits at the car maker were almost cut in half in the fourth quarter as it was stung by a combination of falling diesel sales, Brexit uncertainty and vehicle taxation.
The group saw pre-tax profit slump to £364million in the three months to March 31, down from £676million in the same period last year.
In the UK, the company said it was ‘impacted by consumer uncertainty surrounding diesel models, Brexit and vehicle taxation’.
The new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models will be built at a revamped Solihull plant
Diesel sales have been falling in the wake of additional surcharges and changes to VED introduced by the Government last April.
Industry experts have warned that this plus concerns for the future of the sector following Brexit could mount pressure on UK car makers – though brands such as Nissan and Vauxhall both recently committed to continued assembly at their British factories.
JLR employs some 40,000 people in total making it the UK’s biggest car manufacturer in terms of both output and heads.
Latest employee figures say there are 3,200 people employed at the Castle Bromwich site and a further 10,000 at Solihull.
SAVE MONEY ON MOTORING