Car manufacturer giant Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is set to move all production of the Discovery model from the West Midlands to Slovakia from early 2019.

Currently based in the Solihull area, JLR have warned that some jobs may be at risk.

In a statement, JLR said: “The potential losses of some agency employed staff in the UK is a tough one, but forms part of our long-term manufacturing strategy as we transform our business globally.”

The BBC reported that there are 1800 agency workers in the Solihull plant, out of a workforce of 10,000.

The company would not confirm how many roles are at risk. In April, the carmaker announced plans to cut 1,000 jobs in the UK as a result of Brexit uncertainty and difficult trading conditions. However, the group also said it remained committed to all of its UK plants.

Professor David Bailey, motor industry specialist at Aston Business School, said if JLR was “really committed” to UK production and moving the Discovery did “pave the way” for other models to be built in the West Midlands, then that was a “good thing”.

Last summer, JLR announced it would add 40,000 staff in the UK. The Tata-owned manufacturer said it wanted to start building electric vehicles in Britain, provided conditions such as support from the government and academics were met.

In an article written by The Independent, Dom Tribe, automotive sector specialist at management consultancy Vendigital, said JLR’s decision was a sign of ongoing uncertainty with the motor industry, caused by a lack of clarity around Brexit.

“With JLR’s UK production facilities exporting around 75% of its vehicles and importing many parts from the EU, this action is in part an effort to help mitigate potentially-costly tariffs, which could significantly damage its bottom line,” he added.

“The downturn in demand for diesel-powered vehicles will have also played a key role in this decision. Diesel cars make up around 90 per cent of JLR’s production output in the UK and the company is behind the curve with regards to bringing hybrid and all-electric alternatives to market.”

The latest SMMT figures showed a noticeable drop in purchased diesel vehicles, with new registrations of diesel cars down more than 37% in March due to tax changes aimed at encouraging drivers to buy lower-emission vehicles.

This is awful news for many of those working at JLR. InAutomotive do have available motor trade roles, and over the last week (since the news was released) we have experienced a 51% lift in visitors to InAutomotive in the Birmingham area.

If you are looking for work in the motor trade, then please take a look at our jobs section here. We hope we can help you find what you’re looking for during these uncertain times.

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