British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) said on Wednesday it will cut around 10% of the workforce at its northern English Halewood factory as it changes shift patterns to boost efficiency at the site.
The plant produces the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport vehicles but the Unite Union warned that the challenges facing the company are also being experienced at other British car factories.
JLR posted a 6% decline in 2019 sales, hit by the weakening Chinese auto 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% in December.
“Jaguar Land Rover is taking action to optimise performance, enable sustainable growth and safeguard the long-term success of our business,” the company said in a statement.
“Central to the Halewood manufacturing strategy, we are moving from a three-shift to a “two-plus” shift pattern from April 2020.”
Around 4,5000 people work at the Halewood factory, one of three JLR car factories in Britain, with roughly 500 jobs affected by Wednesday’s announcement.
JLR, like much of the car industry, has also faced the challenge of stepping up investment in zero and low-emission vehicles as regulations tighten while simultaneously dealing with a drop in demand for some conventionally powered models.