Up to 300 jobs will be axed at Jaguar Land Rover’s Halewood plant after the firm announced it would cease production of the X-Type.
The company said it would be seeking voluntary redundancies at the Merseyside plant at the end of the year after putting an end to the Jaguar X-Type, which was brought in by former owner Ford to broaden the marque’s appeal.
The company also announced today that it expects to impose a shutdown of more than three weeks at Halewood this year to keep control of stock levels.
JLR, which has held talks with the Government about a loan to help it through the recession, has been hit hard by plunging premium car sales, and Indian parent firm Tata Motors announced last month that it piled up losses of £281 million for the 10 months to March 2009.
Chief executive David Smith, said today: “Our industry has been especially badly hit by the recession and the premium sector more than others.
“Jaguar Land Rover’s retail sales fell by 28 per cent in the past 10 months. We have taken unprecedented actions to cut costs, including reduced production volumes, significant cuts to investment plans and some 2,200 job losses.
“Ceasing production of the X-Type early, with further redundancies and temporary shutdowns at Halewood, is necessary to protect our other investment plans.”
It is understood that JLR had planned to cease production of the X-Type next year, but plummeting global car sales had forced it to bring it forward.
The company employs about 2,200 workers at Halewood, who will now focus on production of the Land Rover Freelander.
Data released this month showed UK Jaguar sales had fallen by 20 per cent so far this year, while sales of Land Rovers were 28 per cent down, despite the Government’s car scrappage scheme.