Jaguar to make only electric cars by 2025

Tata-owned brand says it will spend $3.5bn annually on electrification technology

FILE PHOTO: A worker cleans a new Jaguar F-Type model at Brussels Motor Show, Belgium, January 9, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

Jaguar Land Rover said its luxury brand Jaguar will go all-electric by 2025 as it aims to become a net-zero carbon business by 2039.

The car maker's second brand, Land Rover, which makes sports utility vehicles under the Range Rover, Discovery and Defender name plates, will release six electric models in the next five years. The first model will hit the market in 2024.

Under its new "Reimagine" plan, JLR, which is owned by an Indian conglomerate Tata Group, said it was aiming for the electrification of both brands on “separate architectures with two clear, unique personalities”.

The announcement comes after the UK government decided in November to stop selling fossil-fuel cars from 2030.

Restrictive emissions and fuel-efficiency regulations have forced car makers around the world to produce vehicles that are environmentally friendly.

Last month, General Motors, the largest US car maker, said it plans to eliminate petrol and diesel light-duty cars, including SUVs, by 2035.

Volkswagen, the second-largest car maker by sales last year, plans to unveil about 70 new electric models by 2028, raise its electric vehicle production to 22 million over the next decade and spend $33 billion making its other models electric.

JLR’s shift in strategy will allow the company to become “more sustainable and [have a] positive impact on the world,” said Thierry Bollore, the company’s chief executive.

All Jaguar and Land Rover models will be available in pure electric form by the end of 2030.

The company intends to achieve net-zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products and operations by 2039.

It is also preparing for the expected adoption of clean fuel-cell power in line with the maturing of the hydrogen economy.

Development is already under way, with prototypes expected on UK roads within 12 months as part of a long-term investment programme, the car maker said.

JLR has pledged to spend £2.5bn ($3.5bn) annually that will include investments in electrification and data-centric technology.

The company will also invest in the development of connected services to improve the experience of customers.

To explore the potential synergies on clean energy, connected services, data and software development leadership, JLR will work closely with other companies in the Tata Group.

“We have so many ingredients from within. It is a unique opportunity,” said Mr Bollore, who took over as chief executive in September.

“Others [car makers] have to rely solely on external partnerships and compromise, but we have frictionless access that will allow us to lean forward with confidence and at speed.”

JLR has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Motors, in which Tata Sons is the largest shareholder, since 2008.

The company employs about 38,000 employees in Britain and used state support to furlough 18,000 members of its workforce last year.

Despite the pandemic, it was profitable last year after a strong October-December period that was boosted by robust sales in China.

FILE PHOTO: People wear face masks following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the Jaguar Land Rover's booth at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, or Auto China show, in Beijing, China September 27,  2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File Photo

JLR made a pre-tax profit of £439 million in the last quarter, £121m higher than in 2019, while its quarterly revenue surged by more than 36 per cent to £6bn.

The car maker expects its pivot to electric will contribute to the bottom line.

“JLR is on a path towards double-digit ebit [earnings before interest and taxes] margins and positive cash flow, with an ambition to achieve positive cash net-of-debt by 2025,” the company said.

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