In a move that is pegged as Jaguar Land Rover’s biggest investment move in recent history, the company has revealed its plans of pumping massive amounts of money in the UK economy and also created thousands of jobs in the country as part of its efforts to double its output by 2020.
The plans were laid out by JLR chief executive Ralf Speth who while speaking at an automotive sector meeting at Warwick University, UK said that the company is looking to double its output to 1 million cars over the course of next four years and this means that it will be creating thousands of jobs in the process.
According to Speth JLR will also be investing in electric cars and this will need it to bring the research and development and production of electric car batteries to Coventry and Warwickshire. The British carmaker, not quite famed for its ‘green’ cars, intends to have hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric models constitute nearly half of its line-up by the year 2020.
Speth has already made the announcement regarding JLR’s electric ambition and as one of the first steps in this direction unveiled I-Pace all-electric SUV concept last week at the LA Auto Show. This is JLR’s debut in the world of zero-emission battery-electric passenger vehicles.
Jaguar’s I-Pace all-electric SUV concept has been pegged as “a no-compromise smart, five seat sports car and a performance SUV in one.” The SUV gets gets electric motors on the front and rear axles that offer a combined output of 395bhp and 700Nm of torque – the same torque rating as that of the F-TYPE SVR. While this is a production preview of the Jaguar I-PACE, the carmaker will reveal the model next year and has promised that the production I-PACE will hit the roads in 2018.
Speth did point out that there is a need for government help and partnership to create the framework of connected digital roads and also a reliable 5g network to enable cars to communicate. He said that Germany is already working in this direction and is planning infrastructure right now.
“There must be a hub, a smart city creating real life proof of concept. Bring the lab to the streets, a living lab around Coventry and Solihull”, Speth said claiming it to be a race with Germany.
UK Secretary of State Greg Clark, who was also present at the meeting, indicated the government was on board.
JLR currently has 40,000 staff employed in the UK. While the firm declined to put a precise figure on how many jobs will be added by producing electric vehicles in Britain, the impact on the UK economy is expected to be significant.