Jaguar Land Rover to cut up to 4500 jobs
Jaguar Land Rover announces widespread cost-cutting measures, but its struggles have the potential to be good news for savvy car buyers...
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced it will cut around 4500 jobs worldwide and introduce widespread cost-cutting measures in a bid to combat slow sales.
The cuts – part of a plan dubbed 'Charge and Accelerate' – will begin with a voluntary redundancy scheme in the UK. Around 1500 people were already made redundant by the company in 2018. The cuts aim to "create a leaner, more resilient organisation with a flatter management structure."
This news comes after JLR announced a pre-tax loss of around £90 million in the third quarter of 2018. Slow business in China is mostly to blame, with sales between July and September 2018 down by more than 13% on the previous year.
That loss, combined with a decline in diesel sales and uncertainty over both Brexit and the new WLTP emissions tests, have created a perfect storm for the British brand.
At the time, JLR announced a £2.5 billion plan to rejuvenate the company, including reducing spending over the next two years by £500 million. The funds raised will be invested into electric vehicle technology – including a new battery assembly centre in Warwickshire, which will be used to make battery packs for future Jaguar and Land Rover electric cars.
Jaguar's factories in the UK are already feeling the pinch: the firm's Solihull plant had a two-week shutdown late last year and has already cut jobs, while the factory at Castle Bromwich, which currently builds the XE, XF and XJ saloons, moved to a three-day week.
Savvy car buyers could profit from this news, however, because dealers are likely to increase their discounts to help improve sales. What Car?'s Target Price savings – the most we think you should pay for a new car based on research by our own mystery shoppers – are already generous, with average savings of £2986 available on the XE. The XF, meanwhile, has an average Target Price saving of £3665, while buyers can save more than £10,000 on the XJ.
The XJ is the oldest car in Jaguar's fleet, and while it's still among the best cars of its kind to drive, luxury rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8 have long since surpassed it in terms of comfort and interior quality.
Management at JLR will now be mulling over Jaguar's long-term future, but one plan unearthed by our sister title Autocar last year involves turning it into an electric-only brand.
Under this plan, the XJ would be reinvented as a flagship electric car with a range of around 300 miles. It would be powered by two electric motors – one on each set of wheels – and rival quicker versions of the Tesla Model S. It's unclear where the existing XE and XF saloons would fit into this plan, but Jaguar already has one electric car under its belt: the I-Pace SUV.
JLR CEO Dr. Ralf Speth 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 best deals on executive and luxury cars
Global sales of saloon cars are falling because most family buyers are now choosing SUVs instead (indeed, savings on Jaguar's E-Pace and F-Pace SUVs are relatively small), but that means larger discounts are available. Below and over the next few pages we've gathered together the best deals on executive and luxury saloons available through What Car? New Car Buying.
The A5 is essentially a sleeker version of Audi's popular A4 saloon, and that's a good thing, because the A4 is our 2018 Executive of the Year. True, the A5 is priced higher, but big discounts are available, and it's a comfortable, quiet and classy choice.
What Car? deal: Save £3475 on a 2.0 TFSI S line [Tech Pack] – Target Price £33,995
The A7 is a beautifully made and comfortable cruiser which is perfect for eating up miles. It has a strong range of engines and comes well equipped, too.
What Car? deal: Save £6538 on a 55 TFSI quattro S line S tronic – Target Price £51,517
BMW 7 Series
BMW's luxury saloon is spacious and fun to drive, plus it comes with the brilliant iDrive infotainment and navigation system. We like its strong range of engines and well-equipped interior. Speccing one up with lots of options can get expensive, though.
What Car? deal: Save £5981 on a 740d xDrive auto – Target Price £58,279
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