JLR vows to keep UK plants open under electric car strategy

Jaguar Land Rover will overhaul its brands and focus on electric vehicles but has pledged to keep its three UK car plants open under a strategy overhaul spearheaded by chief executive Thierry Bolloré.

The group will spend £2.5bn a year developing electric and connectivity technology for cars, with every model in its line-up offering a battery version by the end of the decade, it said on Monday.

JLR has been slow to roll out electric and hybrid vehicles, and last year paid a £35m fine after missing EU emissions targets.

The luxury carmaker will also share more technology with its parent company, Tata Motors, in an effort to cut development costs.

Under the strategy, the Jaguar brand will go all-electric by 2025 and move further upmarket in an attempt to revive the fortunes of the nameplate.

However, the company axed earlier plans for a battery version of its flagship XJ saloon car, which was to be built at its Castle Bromwich site.

The move, which will make its Solihull plant the centre of its electric vehicle efforts, raises questions about the future of the Bromwich site. The plant only makes the little-selling Jaguar saloon cars and analysts had expected it to close without the new model. 

JLR’s British plants made 243,000 cars last year across the three sites, fewer than Nissan produced from its single Sunderland facility.

The company on Monday pledged to “retain its plant and assembly facilities in the home UK market and around the world” but said it would “repurpose and reorganise” its existing sites.

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