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July 5, 2019

Jaguar Land Rover confirms e-XJ for UK plant

Tata Motors owner Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has confirmed plans to manufacture a range of new electrified vehicles at its manufacturing plant in Castle Bromwich, UK.

By Sam Duke

Tata Motors owner Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has confirmed plans to manufacture a range of new electrified vehicles at its manufacturing plant in Castle Bromwich, UK.

The first vehicle in the plan is confirmed as the next-generation all-electric Jaguar XJ in a move the company said would safeguard thousands of jobs in the UK.

The company said announcement is the next significant step in delivering on the company’s commitment to offer customers electrified options for all new Jaguar and Land Rover models from 2020.

The news was confirmed to workers at Castle Bromwich as production of the current XJ came to an end. JLR said the new all-electric XJ will be created by the same expert team of designers and product development specialists responsible for delivering the Jaguar I-Pace (currently made in Austria by contract assembler Magna Steyr).

“We are committed to making our next generation of zero-emission vehicles in the UK.”

Ralf Speth, JLR CEO, said: “The future of mobility is electric and, as a visionary British company, we are committed to making our next generation of zero-emission vehicles in the UK. We are co-locating our electric vehicle manufacture, Electronic Drive Units and battery assembly to create a powerhouse of electrification in the Midlands.”

Speth also said that “affordability will only be achieved if we make batteries here in the UK, close to vehicle production, to avoid the cost and safety risk of importing from abroad.” And he added that the “UK has the raw materials, scientific research in our universities and an existing supplier base to put the UK at the leading edge of mobility and job creation.”

The company also said today’s announcement is the next stage in execution of Jaguar Land Rover’s electrification strategy. In January the company confirmed plans to bring battery and Electric Drive Unit (EDU) assembly to the Midlands with investment in new and existing facilities. These investments have been anticipated in the company’s previously communicated capital investment plans – the EDUs will be co-developed with BMW.

JLR maintains that the new Battery Assembly Centre at Hams Hall, operational in 2020, will be the most innovative and technologically advanced in the UK with an installed capacity of 150,000 units. Together with the Wolverhampton Engine Manufacturing Centre (EMC), home of Jaguar Land Rover’s global EDU production, these facilities will power the next generation of Jaguar and Land Rover models.

The company also said the extensive transformation of Castle Bromwich to become the UK’s first premium electrified vehicle plant will be the most significant in the plant’s history. Later this month, work will begin to commence the installation of all-new facilities and technologies required to support Jaguar Land Rover’s next-generation Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA). Designed and engineered in-house, JLR says that MLA enables flexible production of clean efficient diesel and petrol vehicles alongside full electric and hybrid models.

Last month, JLR and BMW Group announced they would be joining forces to develop next generation Electric Drive Units (EDUs) in a move they said will support the advancement of electrification technologies in automotive.

The JLR e-mobility investment news will be welcome for both the UK automotive sector and the UK government, particularly amid concern over Brexit uncertainties and the depressing impact it is having on manufacturing investment in Britain. 

The SMMT issued a very positive statement on the JLR announcement. Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive said: “Today’s news is a huge boost for the UK motor industry and reaffirms Britain’s potential to become a global leader in zero emission technologies. To realise this, however, we need the right conditions to encourage more manufacturers to invest, innovate and sell competitively, including massive infrastructure investment and long-term support and incentives for consumers. When it comes to automotive supply, distance matters and securing significant giga-scale battery production here in the UK will be essential to future-proof this sector.”

See also: Jaguar Land Rover and BMW to collaborate on next gen EV tech

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