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JLR could axe a further 1,100 jobs as losses grow

Jaguar Land Rover Solihull manufacturing plant

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is expected to axe a further 1,100 contracted worker jobs from its UK factory floors following the impact of COVID-19 on manufacturing and global sales.

The premium carmaker reported yesterday (June 15) that the impact of the COVID-19 had already driven its cash outflows in April and May to £1.5 billion and it expects June’s bill to top £500m.

Fourth quarter revenues shrunk from £24.2bn to £23bn as the crisis impacted sales across the globe, including key Asian markets such as China, as new car sales fell 31% to 109,869.

The result meant that the OEM sunk deeper into the red during its financial year to March 31, with annual car sales down 12.1% (to 508,659) during the 12 months to March 31, 2020 – its annual losses growing from £358m to £422m.

JLR has been in talks with the UK Government in an effort to secure a £1bn loan to support operations at its UK production facilities at Castle Bromwich, Solihull, and Halewood.

But it has been forced to announce more job cuts amid rising losses.

A further 1,100 agency staff are expected to be released from their employment with the business in addition to the 5,000 roles that JLR said it would cut last year.

Union Unite's national officer, Des Quinn, urged Government to deliver an “urgently needed sector support package” in an effort to “stem the tide of redundancies”.

JLR said that it had temporarily closed its factories, furloughed staff and reined in non-essential spending in an effort to mitigate against the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Of its 19,000 staff, around 13,000 remain on furlough.

JLR's chief executive, Ralf Speth, who is set to step-down from his current role in September, said: "Jaguar Land Rover’s early action to transform its business meant that as a company we were on track to meet our full-year expectations and operational and financial targets before the pandemic hit in the fourth quarter.

"Our immediate priority has been the health and wellbeing of our people – and this remains the case as we have now begun the gradual, safe restart of our operations."

Last month JLR reported that its luxury and high-performance focussed Special Vehicle Operations division had generated a 64% year-on-year increase in retail sales across the globe during 2019/20.

the popularity of performance-oriented SV models such as the 550PS Jaguar F-PACE SVR and 575PS Range Rover Sport SVR in the OEM’s network of 100 SVO specialist franchised retail sites helped to generate a total of 9,500 sales during the 2019/20 fiscal year.

The OEM also begun a new promotional push for its online retail platform as a safe sales solution during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, a year after its initial roll-out.

The manufacturer said in a statement issued on May 4 that over 3.3 million car buyers had now experienced the online portal, which was rolled-out in May last year,

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