'Thousands of jobs safe' as Jaguar Land Rover announces electric vehicle plans for Castle Bromwich - The Solihull Observer

'Thousands of jobs safe' as Jaguar Land Rover announces electric vehicle plans for Castle Bromwich

Solihull Editorial 5th Jul, 2019 Updated: 5th Jul, 2019   0

JAGUAR Land Rover has today revealed plans to manufacture a range of new electrified vehicles at its Castle Bromwich plant.

The company says they will save several thousand jobs in the UK and the region.

The first new electric car to be produced at the plant will be Jaguar’s flagship luxury saloon, the XJ.

The firm says the announcement is the next significant step in delivering on the company’s commitment to offer customers electrified options for all new Jaguar and Land Rover models from 2020.

The news was confirmed to workers at Castle Bromwich as production of the current XJ came to an end.

Chief executive Professor Doctor Ralf Speth said: “The future of mobility is electric and, as a visionary British company, we are committed to making our next generation of zero-emission vehicles in the UK.

“We are co-locating our electric vehicle manufacture, Electronic Drive Units and battery assembly to create a powerhouse of electrification in the Midlands.”

The extensive transformation of Castle Bromwich to become the UK’s first premium electrified vehicle plant will be the most significant in the plant’s history, the firm says.

The good news comes after the car-maker announced a drastic savings plan in January amid on-going Brexit uncertainty and falling sales.

Hundreds of jobs have been lost over the last year across the company’s West Midlands factories.

Castle Bromwich factory staff also voted to switch to a permanent four-day working week last month in a move that was hailed as ‘securing the future of the plant’.

Later this month, work will begin to commence the installation of all-new facilities and technologies required to support the development of the new model.

In January the company confirmed plans to bring battery and Electric Drive Unit (EDU) assembly to the Midlands with investment in new and existing facilities.

The company has called on government and industry to work together to continue its expansion of battery production in the country and the region.

Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing Steve Turner said: “Today’s trailblazing announcement by Jaguar Land Rover is testament to the skill and hard work of Unite members and shop stewards. Once again they have pulled out all the stops to secure the new investment needed for this new model which will be the first UK built all-electric executive saloon.

“Not only is it a fantastic boost to the UK car industry, but it ensures that Jaguar Land Rover’s Castle Bromwich site remains a powerhouse of the regional economy providing a living for thousands of workers and supporting many more in the supply chain.

“This is a proud day for our members and Jaguar Land Rover. The government and Theresa May’s replacement as prime minister must make sure it is not the last for UK’s world beating car workers and their families.

“The Tory leadership contenders need to stop trying to out-bid one another over a disastrous no-deal Brexit and take it off the table to help secure further investment in the UK car industry and the future of other car plants, such as Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port site.”

Meriden MP Dame Caroline Spelman tweeted: “Really exciting to be at JLR in Castle Bromwich this morning, and to meet Dr Ralf Speth, as bold new plans for electrification were unveiled.

“This is excellent news for the auto industry and the thousands of people it employs.”

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