The new boss of Jaguar Land Rover has revealed the manufacturer’s future strategy which will see its cars made available as electric and hybrid vehicles.
Thierry Bolloré revealed that Jaguar would become an all-electric brand going forward and the company was working towards a zero carbon future.
It is part of the company’s new ‘Reimagine’ strategy, the first major corporate declaration since Mr Bolloré took over from Ralf Speth as chief executive in September.
He also revealed that a planned new version of Jaguar’s XJ saloon would not be produced and that Jaguar production would be centred in Solihull, casting a shadow over the future of the Castle Bromwich plant.
Mr Bolloré did say production of existing models would continue at the north Birmingham factory for the time being and the lines would later be “repurposed”.
BusinessLive is your home for business news from around the country – and you can stay in touch with all the latest news through our email alerts.
You can sign up to receive daily morning news bulletins from every region we cover and to weekly email bulletins covering key economic sectors from manufacturing to technology and enterprise. And we’ll send out breaking news alerts for any stories we think you can’t miss.
Visit our email preference centre to sign up to all the latest news from BusinessLive.
Currently, the Jaguar XE and XF saloons and the F-Type sports car are produced at Castle Bromwich, the F-Pace SUV is made in Solihull and the Jaguar E-Pace SUV and all-electric I-Pace are made under contract by Magna Steyr in Austria.
Mr Bolloré said: “Jaguar Land Rover is unique in the global automotive industry.
“Designers of peerless models, an unrivalled understanding of the future luxury needs of its customers, emotionally rich brand equity, a spirit of Britishness and unrivalled access to leading global players in technology and sustainability within the wider Tata Group.
“We are harnessing those ingredients today to reimagine the business, the two brands and the customer experience of tomorrow.
“The Reimagine strategy allows us to enhance and celebrate that uniqueness like never before. Together, we can design an even more sustainable and positive impact on the world around us.”
Mr Bolloré said sustainability would be key to both the Jaguar and Land Rover brands going forward, with their electrification on separate vehicle architectures.
Land Rover is due to reveal six new all-electric models over the next five years, the first one arriving in 2024, and Jaguar will undergo a “renaissance” as a pure electric luxury brand with a new portfolio of vehicles.
However, the planned Jaguar XJ replacement will not form part of the brand’s line-up, though the nameplate could be revived in the future.
The Halewood plans in Merseyside will be the destination for the company’s new so-called Electric Modular Architecture, a platform that supports electrified engines.
The UK Government recently decreed that all production of purely petrol and diesel engines must stop after 2030.
By this time, Mr Bolloré said all Jaguar vehicles would be electric and 60 per cent of Land Rovers with the remainder hybrid.
Jaguar Land Rover is aiming to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products and operations by 2039 and, as part of this, the company will also develop vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells, with prototypes arriving on UK roads within the next 12 months.
The company plans to invest £2.5 billion each year in electrification technologies.
Jaguar Land Rover will retain its plant and assembly facilities in the UK and around the world, with Solihull set to become the home of the future advanced Jaguar pure electric platform.
Jaguar Land Rover is also set for reorganisation, with Mr Bolloré promising to deliver “a more agile operation” with management appearing to be in the chief executive’s eyeline but concrete details around this were not announced.
Mr Bolloré also said there would be closer cooperation with parent company Tata Group and the company was striving to achieve positive cash net-of-debt by 2025.
The Reimagine plan has been welcomed by trade union Unite.
National officer for automotive Des Quinn said: “Unite understands the need for a re-evaluation of the direction of travel for the Jaguar Land Rover brands and the challenges facing the business given the events of recent years.
“These pressures included the slump in global automotive sales, the fallout of ‘Dieselgate’ and tighter regulation around emissions which have been compounded by lack of confidence due to the Brexit process and the effects of the worldwide pandemic.
“For those reasons, we welcome the Reimagine programme and the vision for the company in the future.
“However, this is not unconditional support. Assurances of no plant closures and no compulsory job losses have been sought and given and it is on this basis only that we will work with the company to meet the challenges of the future.”