Jaguar Land Rover slashing 1,000 jobs and relocating 350 staff should set "alarm bells ringing" in government over its policy towards diesel, according to unions.
Britain's biggest carmaker said it had been informing employees about the decision on Monday - after reports had emerged last week. Output is expected to be cut as a effect, though the carmaker would not provide forecasts on the reduction.
Earlier this year, it said it would cut production amid uncertainty over Brexit and changes to taxes on diesel cars. United Kingdom industry sales, meanwhile, were down 15.7% in March and 12.4% in the quarter, more than could be explained by lower diesel sales - although March 2017 was an all-time industry record due to a sales rush before the introduction of higher vehicle taxes in April. Recent figures from the trade body showed sales of diesels fell a whopping 37 per cent in March compared with the previous year. Both models will be powered by four conventional petrol and diesel engines.
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Also, Brexit and related issues have made it increasingly hard for JLR to finalise on a strategy.
The company added that it would be moving 360 jobs to Solihull from the nearby Castle Bromwich plant, which makes the Jaguar XE, XF, XJ and F-Type.
JLR said in a statement on Friday that it was making adjustments to production schedules and the levels of agency staff "in light of the continuing headwinds impacting the vehicle industry".
JLR said in its statement that it was continuing to recruit large numbers of highly skilled engineers, graduates and apprentices and remained committed to its United Kingdom plants.