Jaguar Land Rover is reportedly preparing to announce an investment of hundreds of millions of pounds in the UK as part of a strategy to electrify its range of cars, according to a BBC report.
The Telegraph reports that the investment will go towards building a new battery assembly plant near Birmingham and modernising an existing engine plant in Wolverhampton to make electric drive systems.
According to Reuters, a JLR spokeswoman described the report as speculation. The BBC report says that the timing of the announcement has not been finalised but is expected in early March.
Last month, Jaguar Land Rover’s parent company, Tata Motors Ltd, reported its worst ever quarterly loss of about $4 billion.
JLR then announced plans to cut 4,500 jobs over the next two years. The carmaker cited weak sales in China and a slump in demand for diesel engines which power almost 90% of its range.
The JLR announcement of a fresh UK investment, if it happens, will be a welcome piece of news for Britain’s car industry after a decline in sales, production and a slew of bad news regarding investment in the sector.
Honda recently announced that it will close its Swindon plant in 2021 and Nissan has canceled plans to build the Nissan X-Trail in Sunderland
New car production in the UK plunged by 18.2% in January, the eight consecutive month of straight annual declines, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The news comes after it was reported yesterday that Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, who founded the Warwick Manufacturing Group in the 1980s and played a key role in enabling car giant Tata to take over Jaguar Land Rover, passed away.