At the start of July Jaguar Land Rover announced a huge investment to build electric cars in Britain. The investment will be centred around the Coventry car maker’s plant in Castle Bromwich, the home of Jaguar, but other plants will also benefit.
The first new all-electric model will be a new Jaguar XJ saloon, traditionally the Jaguar marque’s flagship model. Other electric models will follow, including an electric version of the smaller XE saloon and a large new SUV code-named the J-Pace. This is a welcome boost for industry in the face of falling sales, caused by the decline of diesel, falling demand in China, and government cuts in support.
For its first all-electric car, the I-Pace, launched last year, the company chose a contract manufacturer in Graz, Austria, to produce it.
Unite’s assistant general secretary for manufacturing, Steve Turner, said the announcement was “testament to the skill and hard work of Unite members and shop stewards.”
Despite promises to back electric car production, the government scrapped a £2,500 grant for plug-in hybrids last October and cut the maximum available for battery-powered cars by £1,000.
• A longer version of this article is on the web at www.cpbml.org.uk.