With the report that came out in the press this week confirming that June sales of low emission cars had fallen for the first time in more than two years, it was pleasing to see JLR pledging their commitment to the UK motor industry.
It is believed that this move will safeguard circa 2,500 jobs for the business which is great news, particularly after the company announced earlier this year that they will be cutting 4,500 management jobs across its global workforce.
The last of the current XJ model will roll off the factory lines this month before the company switches production to the new model over the summer. JLR, which is owned by India’s Tata, had previously pledged to create electric versions of all its models by 2020. The timing could work well as it’s expected the new Battery Centre will be operational during 2020 and will have the capacity to build 150,000 units.
Dr Ralf Speth has come out and said that the brand is definitely not for sale, and with this recent commitment from JLR it should instill confidence into the UK car market.
So I am going to throw the question out there... will other OEM’s follow suit?
Stuart Apperley, director and head of UK automotive at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, has been looking at the implications of Jaguar Land Rover's plans to build electric cars in the UK. It is an important announcement for the entire sector, he says. "While Britain remains one of the best places in the world to make cars, there have been concerns about falling behind others in leading the charge in the development of electric vehicles – principally the US, Japan and Germany. Everyone in the industry will hope JLR’s move prompts others to follow suit in demonstrating their commitment to the UK.”