More than 12 per cent of the workforce is facing the axe at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the company announced today.
The company said it will cut as many as 5000 posts out of a total UK staff of 40,000, with management, administrative and marketing roles most at risk.
Some production staff could also go as part of a £2.5 billion programme of cuts caused by falling Chinese sales, lower diesel sales and Brexit concerns.
JLR has increased staff outside the UK, with 4000 workers taken on in China and 3000 jobs created in Slovakia by moving Land Rover Discovery production there.
But it has already cut jobs here, including the lay-off of 1000 agency workers in 2017 and putting 1000 staff on a three-day week for the last three months of 2018.
Sales have tumbled by half in China, its largest and most profitable market, as consumers there delay large purchases amid economic uncertainty.
The company has also had a difficult time with its Chinese dealers, who have been calling for better incentives and terms to be introduced.
JLR has been investing heavily in electric and hybrid vehicles, but nine out of ten of its vehicles have diesel engines.
Sales in this category have fallen sharply amid continuing fallout from the VW emissions scandal.
The company has previously issued a number of warnings about the damage being caused to the industry by uncertainty over Brexit.
It warned last summer that there would have to be more clarity from the Government if it was to carry on investing in its UK operations.
JLR also warned that a no-deal Brexit would cost it around £1.2 billion in profits each year.
Unions says they are worried that JLR is reducing its UK staffing permanently due to market conditions that may only be short term.
They also want to know whether the company’s international plants will receive investment at the expense of the UK operation.
JLR’s announcement came as Ford said it would be cutting costs in the UK and Europe as part of a major structural review of the business.
This is almost certain to mean thousands of job losses, although they are not thought to be imminent.
Steven Armstrong, head of Ford Europe, also warned that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, there would be a ‘further review’ of the UK operation.