Jaguar Land Rover has decided to strengthen its ties with the British car industry, the company has announced, despite repeated warnings by its chief executive that Brexit could see the firm reduce investment in the UK.
In a statement announcing the launch of the new Land Rover Evoque the company stated: “Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to the UK car industry deepens today. With the launch of the new Range Rover Evoque. Designed, engineered and made in Britain, the next generation of the compact luxury SUV makes its world debut in London.”
Ralf Speth, CEO of JLR, commented: “Our commitment to UK production remains firm and the new Evoque benefits from a £1bn investment.”
JLR’s investment in the new vehicle has gone into research, development, design, advanced technology engineering and manufacturing. It has upgraded its production plant at Halewood, Merseyside, to develop “state-of-the-art flexible manufacturing for the new Evoque” with a new stamping line and hybrid-electric assembly technology.
And more than £4bn worth of contracts have been placed with UK companies to support production of the new Evoque, according to the company.
JLR is one of Britain’s biggest employers, with 40,000 employees, and claims to support 260,000 jobs in the UK supply chain. It spent £5.67bn with UK suppliers in 2017-18.
Yesterday’s announcement comes just months after Speth warned that the company and its supply chain faced “an unpredictable future if the Brexit negotiations do not maintain free and frictionless trade with the EU and unrestricted access to the single market”.
More than 40% of parts used in the cars it builds in the UK are imported from Europe and the company spent more than £5bn with EU suppliers in 2017-18.
Speaking in July this year, he said: “We urgently need greater certainty to continue to invest heavily in the UK and safeguard our suppliers, customers and 40,000 British-based employees.”
Speth added that a “bad Brexit deal” would cost JLR more than £1.2bn profit each year and that the company’s plans to invest £80bn in the UK over the next five years “would be in jeopardy should we be faced with the wrong outcome.”
And he reiterated his concerns last month, saying that a hard Brexit would result in plant closures and major job losses, with “no way to survive a hard Brexit for many industries”.
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