Car giant JLR is cutting jobs at one of its UK plants in a fresh blow to the car industry, according to Unite.

The union said it understands the redundancies at Halewood, Merseyside, are a result of ongoing economic uncertainty, with slower than forecast rate of growth for the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport models produced at the factory.

It is understood that hundreds of jobs are set to be cut.

Workers were told on Wednesday that job losses are a result of changing the shift system to deliver flexibility efficiencies that longer term should benefit employees and the company, which is set to come into effect from April.

The job losses comprise a mixture of permanent employees and agency staff, said Unite.

National officer Des Quinn said: “This is a further blow to the UK car industry in general and to our members at Halewood in particular.

“Unite will be ensuring that the commitment to limit job losses to voluntary redundancies is fully honoured.

“The challenges being faced at JLR are also being experienced by other UK car factories.

Staff outside the Halewood plant in Merseyside
Staff outside the Halewood plant in Merseyside (Peter Byrne/PA)

“The UK’s car industry has plummeted from being the jewel in the crown of the UK’s manufacturing sector in a few short years, directly as a result of Government inaction.

“Until the Government ensures that there is long-term frictionless trade and no tariffs with the European Union, along with meaningful investment in the infrastructure to ensure the success of electric vehicles, the UK’s car industry will continue to experience severe challenges.”

Rebecca Long Bailey, shadow business secretary, said: “This is yet another example of the strain our car industry has been under for months. Economic uncertainty, dwindling demand and the challenges of electrification have taken their toll.

“Labour has set out a detailed plan to save our car industry and transition to cleaner vehicles. It is time this Conservative Government did the same.”