INDIA’S Tata owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is on its way to invest a huge sum in advanced manufacturing in the UK.
Quoting the sources close to the auto giant and the UK government, BBC reported that new investment in Britain was imminent.
JLR is expected to make a formal announcement on its new investment later this month, the broadcaster added.
The British government hopes that the new investment will confirm the UK still has a major role to play in JLR’s move to electric vehicles despite some existing model production being moved to Slovakia.
Earlier this year, JLR unveiled its strategy to axe 4,500 jobs in the next 24 months amid declining demand for diesel engines which presently power 90 per cent of its range.
The company has also witnessed a fall in demand for cars in China, its most profitable market.
The auto maker has also plans to pump hundreds of millions pounds into the UK plants as part of its strategy to electrify its range of cars.
JLR chief executive Ralf Speth has recently stated that by 2020 all of its vehicle models will be available with some form of electric power.
The new investment will move into 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.
As part of its future strategy, JLR wants the Hams Hall plant to be operational and to be producing its own electric vehicles by 2020.
Further investment is expected to come with the preparation for a revamped Range Rover at Solihull, after JLR shifted its Discovery model production from the plant to its new site in Slovakia in 2018.
Ian Henry of AutoAnalysis said: “Putting a figure on how much JLR is going to spend is almost impossible without knowing the detail. However, as a comparison Toyota just spent £240m into retooling its UK plant so it could make the Corolla – a smaller and less complex car. I’d expect investment for an all-new Range Rover, for example, to be a lot higher.”
The UK auto industry is expected to get a big push from the upcoming latest investment when the British auto industry has been in a series of bad news in recent days.
The auto maker has also taken steps to strengthen its relations with its dealer network in China as part of its efforts to expand and strengthen its auto business further.
According to the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) the sales of UK manufactured cars declined 72 per cent in the last month when compared to the same period last year but sources at JLR said there were “green shoots of recovery” in the Chinese car market.