The Tata-owned British marque beat out all German and Japanese rivals for the second year in a row

The Tata-owned British marque beat out all German and Japanese rivals for the second year in a row

Since Tata purchased Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford earlier this year, things have been looking decidedly up for both brands. Jaguar even posted its first sales increase in two years in May, largely as a result of the successful XF debut. Now, however, the realities of the global economy are catching up, with the company announcing today that 850 agency workers at the West Midlands operations will be axed.

The announcement came just hours before Jaguar-Land Rover bosses met with the British government to plead for federal aid. It also brings Jaguar-Land Rover’s total job losses for the year to 1,450. The company still employs roughly 15,000 people in the UK, however more jobs are expected to be shed if sales remain low, reports The Telegraph.

"It is a difficult decision but it is part of us taking responsible and rapid actions for the future of the business," a spokesman said. "The car industry globally is probably the sector most severely affected by the current economic climate, and the premium end we are in is even more so."

A previous cutback eliminated two shifts at the Solihull production facility, and this time both the Solihull and Merseyside plants will be affected. The Merseyside Halewood facility is expected to be idled for at least a week in the coming month to help draw down production of the X-Type and Land Rover Freelander.

Despite the tough conditions - with no end in sight - Jaguar-Land Rover is planning a range of new models to help rejuvenate its product lineup, especially on the car side of the shop, and move its image back up-market. Some of those cars include an XF-R version of the XF sedan, a facelifted XKR, and an all-new generation of the legendary-but-aging XJ.