By Calvin Palmer
Production of the Jaguar X-Type has ceased ahead of schedule and 300 jobs will be axed by the end of the year.
Jaguar Land Rover will seek voluntary redundancies at the factory in Halewood, Merseyside, which employs about 2,000 workers, and will also close for three weeks in September in response to the weak car market.
Chief executive David Smith said: “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.”
The X-Type had been scheduled to be built until at least mid-2010. Jaguar has sold more than 350,000 X-Types in eight years.
In June, Jaguar Land Rover reported a pre-tax loss of £281 million ($462 million) loss for the 10 months to March 31 and warned that further job cuts and factory shutdowns were likely.
Jaguar Land Rover’s poor performance dragged Tata Motors, which bought the British business from Ford in June 2008 for £1.7 billion ($2.8 billion), to a net loss of $520 million($855 million) — its first annual loss for eight years.