London, Dec 17 (PTI) Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is likely to cut jobs next year as part of its wider cost efficiency plans.

However, the UK-based luxury carmaker refused to comment on reports in a section of the UK media over the weekend that the changes under its Charge and Accelerate transformation programmes could affect thousands of workers.

“Jaguar Land Rover notes media speculation about the potential impact of its ongoing Charge and Accelerate transformation programmes,” a JLR statement said.

“As announced when we published our second quarter results, these programmes aim to deliver GBP 2.5 billion of cost, cash and profit improvements over the next two years. Jaguar Land Rover does not comment on rumours concerning any part of these plans,” it noted.

In October, the company posted a pre-tax loss of 90 million pounds as the sales of its luxury brands fell sharply in recent months. The JLR had blamed ongoing uncertainty over the future of diesel vehicles in Europe and around Brexit negotiations for its loss-making quarter.

As part of its focus on improving profitability and cash flow, the JLR launched its two initiatives called “Charge” and “Accelerate”, to identify short-term cost and cash flow improvements as well as longer-term operating efficiencies.

“Total profit, cost, and cash flow improvements of GBP 2.5 billion over the next 18 months are targeted. As part of this, the company has taken action to reduce planned spending by about GBP 500 million to GBP 4 billion per year this financial year and next,” the JLR had said.

UK workers’ union, Unite, attacked British government policy for the troubles being faced by the country’s largest automotive manufacturer.

“The government’s demonisation of diesel, it’s botched handling of Brexit and economic global uncertainty has seriously dented the hard work of Britain’s car workers in making their industry the jewel in the UK’s manufacturing crown,” a Unite spokesperson said.

“Unite is not aware of any further job losses to those already announced and planned for early in the New Year at Jaguar Land Rover…Unite will continue to press the carmaker for assurances over the jobs and skills of our members, who have worked tirelessly over the past decade to make the company the global success story it is today,” the spokesperson said.

The JLR, which is the UK’s largest automotive manufacturer, has the largest number of retailers for its cars in Europe, with around 800 outlets across 42 countries.

Its CEO, Ralf Speth, has repeatedly warned the UK government against a “bad Brexit deal”, which could cost the company billions per year.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.