JCB hit by slow down, warns of up to 400 job cuts

UK manufacture points to flagging sales in hurting emerging markets like Russia, China and Brazil

Graeme Macdonald, CEO of JCB.
Graeme Macdonald, CEO of JCB.

Staffordshire, UK-based JCB is proposing to make up to 400 redundancies in the wake of a rapid deterioration in its global construction equipment markets, particularly in Russia and China.

CEO Graeme Macdonald told Construction Europe: “Market conditions in the construction equipment sector have been difficult for some time, but they have worsened quite rapidly in recent weeks.

“The situation is not about to improve, certainly not in the short term, so we now need to take difficult but decisive actions to align overheads to lower sales forecasts. Regrettably, this will result in up to 400 staff positions becoming redundant across our UK businesses.”

The first six months of the year have been marked by a dip in sales across many emerging markets, with the market in Russia falling by 70%, China by 47% and Brazil by 36% – affected by low oil and commodity prices – while parts of Europe were also struggling, with France down by 26%.

In May, JCB reported a depressed revenue figure to $458m in 2014, compared with $474m in 2013.

Caterpillar has meanwhile announced that it could cut up to 10,000 jobs by 2018, amounting to more than 8% of its 126,800 employees globally, in response to ‘challenging conditions’ in mining, oil and gas, construction and rail.

In August, Daimler also announced plans to cuts 1,500 jobs in Brazil, representing 13% of its in-country workforce, after a 44% slump in truck sales in the first half of 2015, on top of a poor 2014.

The German auto maker has since resolved to instead cut hours by 20% after talks with its workers.

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