Jaguar Land Rover are proving that bigger is better with an expansionist policy likely to see world-wide demand matched by world-wide production:
VEHICLE manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed to sources in India that it is looking at the possibility of setting up a new manufacturing facility in Brazil.
No details of the scheme have been officially released but Phil Popham, JLR’s Director – Group Sales Operations, is quoted in the Indian media as saying the company is already holding talks with the Brazilian authorities.
Such a move would mark a further expansion of the JLR brand on a global stage. The Indian-owned company already assembles UK-made knock-down kits for the Land Rover Freelander and Jaguar XF at a plant in Pune in India, while it is currently developing a new factory in China in a joint venture agreement with domestic manufacturer, Chery.
With the production of over 300,000 vehicles, the Jaguar Land Rover group is undoubtedly a contender on the world stage, but with 80% of sales taking place overseas, they are truly a world brand;
JLR has been self-financing since Tata took the wheel. The red ink has disappeared with pre-tax profits last year almost touching £1.7bn from revenues close to £16bn.
Around 9,000 jobs have been created in the three British plants, including 1,700 announced last week. Another 24,000 jobs could be added to a supply chain now enjoying the fruits of JLR’s success.
Controversially perhaps for purists of this very ‘British’ brand, a joint venture with Chery Automobile will see JLR vehicles assembled in China, the group’s most important market. Saudi Arabia is next on the overseas assembly list while JLR is pumping almost £2.75bn into group research and new products this year.
Not only does Tata have money to spend on the future of JLR, it’s also intent on speculating on the future of engineering;
Jaguar Land Rover is set to invest almost £100m in a National Automotive Innovation Campus at the University of Warwick.
Due to open in 2016, the NAIC will focus on developing tech such as electric vehicles and semi-autonomous cars.
The new facility is a joint project between Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors European Technical Centre, Warwick Manufacturing Group and the UK Government’s Higher Education Funding Council. Construction will begin in September 2014, with the finished centre aiming to bring together around 1,000 academics and engineers.
This comes with a promise of serious money for the development of Hybrid Technology on an Evoque platform;
Jaguar Land Rover has announced a £16.3 million collaborative research project, called Evoque_e, which will see the design, development and production of three new hybrid and electric powertrains based on the Range Rover Evoque platform.
Starting in October, the development of the three powertrains will include mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV), a Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) and a full Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV).
With the current Range Rover Hybrid looking to cost almost £100,000 it may be a while before your correspondent can offer a personal long-term review, but hope springs eternal.
This article was written by Rupert Astbury