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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 15 October 2018

Jaguar Land Rover ups electric investment to £13.5 billion

Higher spending comes even as the company said sales and revenue in the year to March 'did not grow as much as we planned'

The Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV. Jaguar Land Rover is expanding its spending on electrification. Jaguar
The Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV. Jaguar Land Rover is expanding its spending on electrification. Jaguar

Jaguar Land Rover is raising investment by about a quarter in the next three years as part of a plan by the diesel-dependent car maker to be able to offer electric versions of all its models.

Britain’s biggest car maker, owned by India’s Tata Motors, will invest a total of £13.5 billion (Dh65.62bn) worldwide during the period, according to a presentation to investors on Monday. That’s a 26 per cent increase from £10.7bn in the three previous years through March 2018.

The higher spending comes even as the company said sales and revenue in the year to March “did not grow as much as we planned” because of customers’ wariness about buying diesel-fuelled vehicles in the UK and Europe. The company said margins and profitability were “well below” internal targets and led to negative cash flow after investment.

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JLR is increasing spending to be able to produce by 2025 three versions of all its models, including those powered by fossil fuels, electric batteries or a combination of both, according to the presentation. The company will only offer fully electric versions if there is enough customer demand, a spokesman said.

Diesel vehicles accounted for about 87 per cent of the company’s sales in the UK and Europe in the fourth quarter of 2018, a high level in light of the unfolding scandal about emissions that erupted in 2015 at Volkswagen and has cooled customer demand.

All six of JLR’s UK manufacturing platforms at plants in the West Midlands and in Halewood, Merseyside, will be retooled to produce vehicles with the new engines, the spokesman said. The carmaker has previously said every vehicle it launches from 2020 will have an electrified element, though this may mean hybrid cars rather than fully electric in some cases.

The company also said it plans to open a software, information technology and engineering centre in Manchester to work on connected-car technology.