Jaguar Land Rover, the UK-based carmaker, will make its Jaguar brand electric-only by 2025 as part of a set of sweeping changes brought in by its new chief executive.
The company, owned by the Indian conglomerate Tata, will abandon the internal combustion engine for its struggling Jaguar brand by 2025, as JLR aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2039.
The more profitable Land Rover brand will launch six pure electric cars within the next five years, although it will continue to offer hybrid cars combining internal combustion engines with batteries until about 2036.
JLR, which employs 30,000 people in the UK, will also “substantially reduce and rationalise” non-manufacturing infrastructure in the UK. It did not reveal how many job losses were planned.
None of JLR’s main factories will close. However, Castle Bromwich, a plant whose future has been in doubt as production slowed, will not build a previously announced electric version of Jaguar’s flagship XJ, or any other new models. Instead, Castle Bromwich will only produce existing models, and JLR will gradually consolidate other operations scattered around the West Midlands to the factory.
The new strategy is the first public statement of intent by Thierry Bolloré, a former boss of France’s Renault, since he was appointed chief executive of JLR in July.
Although the company returned to profit in the last quarter of 2020, it struggled more than some rivals during 2020, slipping behind Nissan as the largest manufacturer of cars in the UK.
Bolloré faced the task of accelerating Jaguar Land Rover’s move to battery electric vehicles to meet the UK government’s ban on pure internal combustion engine cars by 2030. JLR has already garnered high praise for its sole pure electric model, the Jaguar I-Pace SUV, but that car is built in Austria by a contractor, meaning JLR still lacks in-house electric car manufacturing expertise.
It will attempt to rectify that with annual investments of £2.5bn in research and development of new electric technologies, including work on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
JLR will also be able to explore potential new business opportunities around clean energy and connected services as it seeks to act more like a technology company. Both areas are expected to grow rapidly as electric vehicle ownership expands.