The company specifically put out a call for a “giga-scale battery production plant” to be built in the UK. (Tesla is currently shopping around for a location for its fourth Gigafactory, though the automaker is likely to wind up building the plant in Germany. ) “The UK has the raw materials, scientific research in our universities and an existing supplier base to put the UK at the leading edge of mobility and job creation,” Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth said in a statement.
The new electric XJ will be developed by the same team that created the I-Pace, Jaguar’s first EV, which was released in 2018. (The I-Pace is currently built by a contract manufacturer in Austria. ) Jaguar Land Rover says it will make a “new range” of electrified vehicles at the revamped UK plant, and all models from 2020 onward will have electric or hybrid options.
Jaguar Land Rover said on Friday that it hopes its investment will inspire the build-up of an electric vehicle supply chain in the UK since the company has already committed to moving production of its battery packs and electric drive units there.
Amid all of the swirling uncertainty with Brexit and the first drop in vehicle sales in China in decades, Jaguar Land Rover posted a loss in the hundreds of millions of dollars across 2018 — a loss that was made worse by some $3 billion in additional expenses related to the company’s restructuring efforts.
The announcement on Friday was all about the future of Jaguar Land Rover, which isn’t surprising considering the tumultuous year the company had in 2018.