Car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover said Friday that it will make electric cars at its central England plant, securing thousands of jobs in a major boost to post-Brexit Britain. The first new electric car to be produced at the plant will be Jaguar's flagship luxury saloon, the XJ. All three new models will be developed by the same team of engineers responsible for delivering the World's first electric SUV, the Jaguar I-PACE. This announcement will also let several thousand employees keep their jobs at Castle Bromwich which will be a significant step in delivering on the company's commitment to offer customers a full range of electrified Jaguar and Land Rover models from 2020.
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.
The Battery Assembly Centre, which will be operational in 2020 is the largest in the UK with an installed capacity of 150,000 units. The transformation of Castle Bromwich in to the UK's first premium electrified vehicle plant will begin later this month with 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, MLA enables flexible production of clean diesel and petrol vehicles alongside full electric and hybrid models.
Prof. Dr. Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, said: "The future of mobility is electric and as a visionary British car company we are committed to making our next generation of vehicles here.
"The opportunities presented by an Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared future reach far beyond the automotive sector. The UK has among the best academics and creative talent globally and we must now leverage this to take advantage of the technology revolution happening globally".
"Jaguar Land Rover is playing its part, putting in place a carefully considered electrified manufacturing footprint in the West Midlands to support the creation of next generation vehicles and technologies. But our vision can only be realised if we bring together industry, government and academia to create the ecosystem in which customers, supplier and communities can embrace the future of mobility."
As Jaguar Land Rover today makes its commitment to electric car making in Britain, it calls on government to back a UK giga-factory to support battery production in the UK. This builds on the government's Faraday Challenge, which has funded essential research into next generation battery technology to create smaller, denser, cheaper batteries, and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre to enable battery production and scale up for automotive companies to attract a future giga-scale factory to the UK. These critical incremental steps will also support and grow the existing supply chain, making the UK less dependent on essential materials we source abroad today.