Jaguar Land Rover will invest $18.7 billion (£15 billion) over the next five years on developing electric cars as well as autonomous-driving features as part of its drive to ditch combustion engines and catch up with rivals.
The plan includes turning JLR’s UK Halewood plant into an all-electric facility, with the first medium-sized battery Range Rover model due in 2025, the unit of Tata Motors Ltd, said. The announcement is the first detailed roadmap from the automaker, two years after initial moves on EV investments and the decision to reinvent Jaguar as a electric-only brand.
JLR Chief Executive Officer Adrian Mardell said in a statement, “We are stepping into an incredibly exciting new electric era for JLR as a modern luxury business,” The luxury-car maker, which has struggled with supply-chain woes more than competitors, aims to be net-cash flow positive by financial year 2025 and have “double digit” earnings before interest and taxes by 2026.
JLR has limited experience making EVs, with its only fully electric vehicle — the I-Pace SUV — being built by Magna International Inc in Austria. Luxury-car makers from BMW AG to Porsche AG are ramping up their battery offerings, with Mercedes-Benz AG unveiling the roughly €200,000 ($219,140) Maybach EQS SUV this week at the Shanghai auto show.
JLR will begin taking bookings for an electric version of its full-size Range Rover at the end of the year, it said. The decision to make key models in the UK is a boon for the struggling industry that has taken a number of knocks in the run up to and post Brexit.
Jaguar, which has been beset by waning sales, will begin selling the first of three new electric models from 2024, including a four-door grand tourer that will be produced in the UK at JLR’s Solihull plant. The car will have a driving range of up to 700 kilometers (430 miles) priced from £100,000.