05 Jul 2019
Jaguar Land Rover set to invest in electric cars in UK
Jaguar Land Rover has announced that they are going to invest in building electric cars at their factory in Castle Bromwich, in attempts to boost themselves in an embattled automotive industry.
The company will initially be producing an electric version of the Jaguar XJ saloon.
Jaguar Land Rover said they will be investing billions of pounds, which will be spent on creating blueprints for the new vehicle and upgrading their plant. This will also safeguard the jobs of 2,500 people.
Professor Ralph Speth, chief executive of the company, remarked that the government should be putting more effort in providing charging points for electric cars. In an interview with the BBC he said:
“The current charging infrastructure is not really sufficient to cover the country, nor the hotspots of the cities.
“The government has to govern the process.”
He added that the company will be looking at locating electric vehicle manufacture, electronic drive units and battery assembly near Coventry “to create a powerhouse of electrification in the Midlands.”
Jaguar Land Rover’s announcement comes a day after their report showed that sales for low emission cars had fallen in June for the first time in more than two years.
The Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS) warned that electrifying cars will not address issues of traffic jams, urban sprawl and wasted space for parking.
This recent decision to invest appears to contradict previous warnings Jaguar Land Rover made with regards to their investment being threatened by Brexit, in particular in a no-deal scenario.
Experts have said this is because the company can not wait for the outcome and needed to update their range of vehicles.
David Bailey, a professor at Birmingham Business School, remarked:
“Given where it is in its product lifecycle it [JLR] has to make this decision. The capacity is at Castle Bromwich and there’s research and development nearby as well, so they’ve basically run out of time on this decision.”