Land Rover yesterday confirmed 1,300 job losses at its Solihull plant - as the company enjoys the biggest sales boom in its 58-year history.
The cuts result from Land Rover's decision to switch production of its Freelander model to Merseyside.
The company said it was confident the job losses at the 4x4 specialist's Lode Lane factory would be achieved through voluntary redundancies.
It has been known since July 2003 that about 1,000 jobs would be lost when Land Rover announced the replacement for the existing Freelander would be built alongside the Jaguar X-Type at parent group Ford's giant Halewood plant - formerly the home of the Ford Escort - on the outskirts of Liverpool.
It was also confirmed yesterday that a further 300 redundancies will come as a result of shifting production engines for the Land Rover Defender from Solihull to another Ford engine plant at Dagenham.
No corresponding new jobs are being generated at Halewood, where the new Freelander will be built using "existing resources". Land Rover and Jaguar are part of Ford's Premier Automotive Group of European luxury brands, which is fighting to stem heavy annual losses.
Land Rover, which is under orders from Ford to improve quality and productivity at Lode Lane, has earmarked £4 million to compensate displaced workers.
Details of the package, thought to be one of the most generous ever offered in the British automotive industry, were given to union leaders at the factory yesterday afternoon.
Shifting Freelander production to Halewood will give the company flexibility to revamp Lode Lane to take advantage of the high levels of demand globally for the new Range Rover Sport, the third generation Discovery and the 2006-year specification Range Rover.
The view of the unions was summed up by Roger Maddison, national automotive industry officer for Amicus, who said: "This is a sad day, but it is entirely expected.
"The Premier Automotive Group announced 18 months ago their intention to transfer production of the new Land Rover Freelander model to the Halewood plant and we have been talking to the company about achieving the best possible terms and conditions of redundancy.
"These jobs may never be replaced in the West Midlands which is a tragedy, but we and the company are confident that the losses will be achieved through voluntary means."
John Lamb, spokesman for Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which includes Soli-hull, said: "Clearly, the company is doing its best to ease the blow. But coming as it does on top of the 2,000 jobs losses at British Gas, it is still very bad news."
Solihull Lib Dem MP Lorely Burt said: "1,300 redundancies represents a significant proportion of the 8,000 workforce employed locally at Land Rover.
"The loss of these jobs will be a severe blow for workers, their families and the local economy. It will take some time for the area to recover."
Land Rover began scaling back production of the existing Free-lander last year when supplies of petrol engines produced by MG Rover subsidiary Powertrain dried up.