Jaguar Land Rover plans to pump hundreds of millions into UK plants to extend its range of electric cars.
This news, once announced, is a welcome boost to the UK car industry, which has seen a wave of bad news in recent weeks.
Jaguar Land Rover itself has previously announced plans to cut 4,500 jobs in the next two years, putting it down to the decline in popularity of diesel engines which currently power almost 90% of its range and a slump in sales in China.
The latest news in the automotive industry saw Honda announce the closure of its Swindon plant in 2021, shortly after Nissan said it was reversing plans to build the Nissan X-Trail in Sunderland.
According to The Telegraph, Chief executive Ralf Speth has pledged that by 2020 all its models will be available with some form of electric power, and the investment is part of this drive.
The money will reportedly be put towards building a new battery assembly plant at Hams Hall, near Birmingham, and setting up its existing engine plant in Wolverhampton to make electric drive systems. The move will create battery jobs and guarantee work for staff in the Wolverhampton plant.
The decline of diesel in the wake of emissions scandal has hit JLR hard in the last year – Tata Motors Ltd recently reported the biggest ever quarterly loss in Indian corporate history of about $4 billion on slumping China sales.
It’s unclear when the UK’s biggest carmaker will announce details of the plans, but the deadline around JLR hoping to have the Hams Hall plant in operation and to be producing its own electric drives by next year suggest it could be soon.
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