Jaguar Land Rover Starts The EV Shift That Will Make Or Break It

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And it's bringing Land Rover along for the ride.

As of now, Jaguar Land Rover has officially begun work on converting its Halewood, UK factory into a facility capable of producing vehicles based on the conglomerate's new electrified modular architecture (EMA). Models like the Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport will ride on the new platform. Currently, the Jaguar F- Type, XE, and XF are also produced at Halewood.

The tendering process for the new factory has already begun, but current plans indicate a much more intense refurbishing of the factory will have to occur soon. For now, it appears that will come in the form of a shutdown in 2024 when the conversion is fully underway.

Jaguar Land Rover

As of now, it's not clear how that will affect production volumes for the brand. Right now, any slowdowns are something the brand can't afford. Sales have plummeted by 14% for the year ending March 31, 2022. The new Halewood facility will produce both plug-in and fully electric vehicles riding on the EMA platform we discussed above. JLR has plans for the EMA to extend beyond just the Disco and the Evoque at some point.

There will also be upcoming Jaguar EVs that are sure to make use of the platform as well. In addition to producing vehicles for both brands, the plans also include a new and enlarged body shop.

Jaguar Land Rover

Still, despite the profit loss from the plant's planned 2024 production pause, the upgrade is a necessary one. We've already talked about declining sales at JLR, despite the popularity of models like the Defender and Range Rover. Jag needs to pull more weight, and JLR has previously announced the "Reimagine" strategy to help.

Part of this strategy means that no new Jaguar products will be introduced until 2025 (note that this is after the Halewood conversion) when the brand goes all-electric. Additionally, Jag will be totally repositioned as a Bentley rival. Allegedly, this means the launch of two new crossovers and a two-door F-Type replacement.

Jaguar Land Rover

While Land Rover continues to see success in the luxury SUV segment, Jaguar has stagnated in recent years. JLR saw a % year-on-year reduction, to £18.3 billion (approximately $22.4 billion) in profit last year. Recently, JLR has blamed this on the semiconductor shortage, which it thinks will "continue through the next fiscal year with gradual improvements."

Thus far, that has been proven true. The auto market is softening, if slowly. CEO Thierry Bollore said earlier this year that "we are rapidly progressing our plans for a new generation of electric vehicles with our all-electric Jaguar strategy and BEV-first EMA platform for new Land Rover products."

Jaguar Land Rover
Source Credits: Autocar

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