The future is finally looking bright again.
Earlier this month, Jaguar officially confirmed production of its ninth-generation XJ flagship sedan. Only this time it will available as an all-electric vehicle to compete directly against the Tesla Model S and upcoming Porsche Taycan. Because of this EV pledge, JLR has been awarded big time by the UK government.
According to Bloomberg, the automaker has won a 500 million-pound ($626 million) loan guarantee from the UK government. Good things happen to automakers when they not only become more environmentally friendly but also save thousands of jobs. JLR will invest these funds to completely transform its Castle Bromwich plant, located near Birmingham. A total of 4,500 jobs have now been saved thanks to this cash infusion.
The first vehicle that will roll off the refurbished plant's production line sometime in 2020 will be an all-electric XJ. This facility will also likely be home to future vehicles based on the same platform, called the Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA). This platform can not only accommodate all-electric vehicles but also gasoline and diesel engines as well.
Back in February, it was reported JLR determined it needed to raise an emergency $1 billion within only 14 months in order to stay afloat. Having suffered a financial loss of around $4 billion due to the perfect storm of Brexit, a decline in diesel demand, and a Chinese market slowdown, time was of the essence to restore financial stability.
The UK's government's loan guarantee will certainly relieve a lot of JLR's stress, but there's still work to be done, obviously. JLR simply had no choice but to pursue EVs in a big way and to build them in the UK. Because of Brexit, the UK government was anxious to avoid another automaker leaving the nation for the EU mainland or elsewhere. With the money now in JLR's bank account, progress towards a complete financial recovery is now more assured than it was only a few short months ago.
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