x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Jaguar Land Rover Dubai test site expands in the heat

The company has opened a new hot weather vehicle research and testing facility in the UAE as it seeks to service the Middle East and North Africa market.

Jaguar Land Rover has opened a larger hot weather vehicle research and testing facility in the UAE as it seeks to service the expanding Middle East and North Africa market.

At more than 11,000 square feet and at a cost of £1 million (Dh5.6m), the centre in Barsha, Dubai, is four times larger than the company's previous test facility in the emirate.

"We have had a test centre here for 12 years," said Robin Colgan, the managing director of Jaguar Land Rover Mena.

"We started in Jebel Ali and we moved to Dubai Investments Park. This is our latest development."

The Mena region is the fifth-largest market globally for Jaguar and the seventh for Land Rover, he added.

UAE Land Rover sales were up by more than 26 per cent in the first quarter, while sales of Jaguar cars increased by 16 per cent in the period, according to the dealer Al Tayer Motors.

Both brands also marked their best-ever sales performance in March.

"As well as reassuring us that it's fit for purpose in what has become a very important market - the Middle East and the Gulf generally - we are absolutely confident that the car will work throughout the rest of the world in hotter temperatures," said Mr Colgan.

The company has five test facilities globally, including two in the United States, one in Germany and one in the northern part of Sweden, where engineers test the cars in the extreme cold.

"The rules are that if a car will work in Dubai in the height of summer [and] the Arctic Circle ... the car will work absolutely anywhere," he added.

In the last 18 months, the company has unveiled several new models, including the Range Rover Evoque, the new Range Rover and the F-Type Jaguar.