Jaguar has the tech to achieve challenging electric shift, JLR CEO Bollore says

“Automakers are getting more aggressive with their EV timelines, but some will be harder to meet than others,” said Colin McKerracher, an analyst with BloombergNEF. “Battery prices still need to fall further for mass-market brands to make the jump, but premium brands can get there sooner due to higher average purchase prices.”

Plant risk

Phasing out combustion-engine models could spell trouble for Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich plant in England, which employs almost 2,000 people making Jaguar XE and XF sedans as well as the F-Type sports car.

The company said it is exploring ways to “repurpose” the site after the models are phased out and plans to “substantially reduce and rationalize” its non-manufacturing infrastructure in the UK.

JLR may move activities including its high-end special-vehicle operations to Castle Bromwich, Bollore said in the interview.

The company will also consider buying EV batteries produced in the UK to meet local-content rules, he said.

The UK labor union Unite said it welcomes JLR’s strategy revamp but is supporting the company only if it sticks to pledges that it will not shutter plants or fire workers.

JLR’s push away from the internal combustion engine is the latest seismic automotive shift driven by stricter emissions rules. Automakers from German giant Volkswagen Group to Jaguar’s smaller rival Lotus Cars have announced plans to electrify their offerings as governments around the world increase aid for battery-powered vehicles and put in place rules restricting gasoline cars.

JLR failed to comply with Europe’s tougher carbon-dioxide rules last year and set aside 35 million pounds to pay for the resulting fines. The UK, its home market, will ban sales of gasoline and diesel cars from 2030, putting further pressure on legacy automakers.

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