Britain’s largest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced that it will transform the Castle Bromwich plant for production of a range of new electrified vehicles, following previous announcements about investment and job cuts in Britain due to Brexit uncertainties and falling sales.
The company did not specify in its press statement how much it will invest into the transformation of the plant in the suburb of Birmingham, but British media reported “hundreds of millions of pounds” will be needed to make it Britain’s first premium electrified vehicle plant.
JLR said the first new vehicle to be produced at the plant will be an electric version of Jaguar’s flagship luxury saloon, the XJ. And the last of the current XJ rolled off production line last Thursday, the company 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,” said Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer of JLR.
“Convenience and affordability are the two key enablers to drive the uptake of electric vehicles to the levels that we all need. Charging should be as easy as re-fuelling a conventional vehicle … 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,” Speth said.
JLR called on the government and industry to work together to bring giga-scale battery production to Britain, reducing dependence on essential materials sourced abroad.
The company is co-locating electric vehicle manufacture, electronic drive units and battery assembly to create a powerhouse of electrification in the Midlands.