NEWS
10/01/2019 07:05 GMT | Updated 10/01/2019 17:13 GMT

Honda To Halt Production For Six Days While Jaguar Land Rover Cut 4,500 Jobs Amid Brexit Concerns

The manufacturer will slow operations in April.

Honda has announced it will halt production for six days in April due to Brexit.

In a statement, the car manufacturer said it had been “assessing how best to prepare” for potential logistics and border disruption caused by UK leaving the EU at the end of March.

The company said: “To ensure Honda is well paced to adjust to all possible outcomes, we are planing six non-production days in April 2019.

“This is to facilitate production recovery activity following any delays at borders on parts.

“These contingency provisions have been put in place to best mitigate the risk of disruption to production operations at the Swindon factory.”

Meanwhile, car giant Jaguar Land Rover is to cut 4,500 jobs under plans to make £2.5bn of cost savings.

Most of the cuts are expected to be in the UK, with a voluntary programme being launched.

The savings and “cashflow improvements” will be made over the next 18 months. 

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

Ralf Speth, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, 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 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.

But elsewhere in the motoring world there was positive news – the boss of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars said the brand belongs to Britain and will not move manufacturing elsewhere after Brexit.

The statement came as the company unveils record sales figures.

Peter Byrne/PA
Staff gather outside the Jaguar Land Rover site in Halewood, Knowsley, Merseyside. The luxury carmaker is giving a business update on Thursday which is reported to announce thousands of job losses.

Earlier this month it was reported UK new car sales in 2018 fell at their fastest rate since the global financial crisis a decade ago, hit by the collapse in demand for diesel, as the industry body warned of the existential threat to the sector posed by Brexit.

Registrations dropped 6.8 percent last year to 2.37 million vehicles, the largest fall since sales nosedived 11.3 percent in 2008, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed.

A nearly 30 percent drop in demand for diesel was the most significant factor in the decline. Diesel has been pummelled since the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal of 2015, prompting a crackdown and higher levies, Reuters reports.

But the industry also warned that Britain’s departure from the European Union due at the end of March risks the future of a sector which employs over 850,000 people and has been one of Britain’s few manufacturing success stories since the 1980s.

“It’s still hard to see any upside to Brexit,” said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes.

Chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos told reporters the idea of moving the car maker abroad was a “complete no-go for me”.

“Rolls-Royce belongs to Britain,” he said.

“We are committed to Britain. Rolls-Royce is part of what I would call the British industrial crown jewels.

“It is an in-built brand promise even for our customers worldwide to be proudly built in Goodwood.”

PA Wire/PA Images