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Jaguar Land Rover announces 4,500 job losses, starting in Britain

Britain’s biggest car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced it will cut 4,500 jobs to make £2.5bn of cost savings.

The majority of those cuts are expected to be in the UK and a voluntary reduction programme has been launched.

It comes as the luxury carmaker addresses growing uncertainty about Brexit and slowing demand in China.

The new job losses are in addition to the 1,500 workers who left the company last year.

Ralf Speth, chief executive of JLR, said: “We are taking decisive action to help deliver long-term growth, in the face of multiple geopolitical and regulatory disruptions as well as technology challenges facing the automotive industry.”

The company, owned by Indian conglomerate Tata, also announced further investment in electrification, with electric drive units to be built at its factory in Wolverhampton and a new battery assembly centre at Hams Hall in Birmingham.

JLR employs 44,000 workers in the UK at sites in Halewood on Merseyside and Solihull, Castle Bromwich and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands.

The firm booked a £90m pre-tax loss in the three months to 30 September, which compared with a £385m profit in the same period in 2017.

In China, demand was adversely impacted by consumer uncertainty following import duty changes and escalating trade tensions with the US.

In the UK, “continuing uncertainty related to Brexit” was blamed.

The company builds a higher proportion of its cars in Britain than any other major or medium-sized carmaker and has spent millions of pounds preparing for Brexit, in case there are tariffs or customs checks.