Jaguar Land Rover to delay launch of XJ electric model

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Jaguar Land Rover plans to delay the launch of a completely new electric model due to the coronavirus pandemic and spending restrictions. The Coventry automaker hoped to start building an all-new Jaguar XJ electric sedan at Castle Bromwich early next year.

However, information in the Sunday Times suggests that this postponement is now postponed to October 2021.

Production of Jaguar’s flagship sedan, the latest generation of XJ, ended at Castle Bromwich in July of last year.

However, Jaguar said it was a temporary stop for this iconic vehicle with an all-electric successor.



The Jaguar factory at Castle Bromwich

The new electric XJ represents a huge investment in the Castle Bromwich plant by Jaguar Land Rover and the plant is being reconfigured to start production of electric vehicles.

The investment would also see other electric models produced in the wake of the new XJ, including a new SUV, which would be the Jaguar J-Pace.

Jaguar Land Rover has been discreet about handing over its plans for Castle Bromwich, but like all automakers, it has to reconfigure all of its operating mode due to the coronavirus and the effect it had on car sales worldwide.

CoventryLive spoke to automotive expert Charles Tennant about the latest reports regarding Jaguar.



Dr Charles Tennant

Mr. Tennant is the former chief engineer for Land Rover. He also held management positions at Tata Technologies and WMG at the University of Warwick.

He said: “In July 2019, Jaguar Land Rover announced with great fanfare an investment of £ 1 billion to build a range of electric cars at its Castle Bromwich plant in Birmingham.

“The unions and the workforce of 2,700 factory workers were naturally delighted, especially after 6,000 job losses in recent years.

“Now, a year later, Castle Bromwich remains inactive with staff on leave, due to declining sales of their Jaguar XE and XF sedan cars, leaving dealerships with car stocks. “



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Tennant said Jaguar had enough problems before the coronavirus pandemic.

“While the coronavirus was clearly a blow, sales of Jaguar cars were already down, with only the award-winning electric I-Pace having seen sales growth last year,” he said.

“Now Jaguar has reportedly postponed its new flagship all-electric XJ vehicle until October 2021, with the company saying it would cut all non-essential expenses and prioritize its most lucrative vehicles such as the new Defender and Range Rover. Land Rover stable.

“Jaguar has also said that the XJ has been its flagship model for 50 years, and despite growing rumors that they could stop building their declining sedans, emphasize that this is only a delay, and the engineers will continue to work on product development aspects.

“But it still seems very worrying to me, and I worry about the future of the Jaguar brand. “

Tennant, who recently shared his thoughts with CoventryLive on what the future may hold for Jaguar, said the cost reduction was understandable in today’s climate.

He said: “As with all automakers, JLR is consuming money at an alarming rate – some analysts estimate up to £ 1 billion a month – so it is understandable to cut costs.

“A new CEO is also about to be announced, so maybe everything will change again after another strategic review in the fall.

“Meanwhile, the company is still in talks with the British government to secure much-needed bailout funds from a fund called Project Birch. ”

Tennant also believes that Jaguar Land Rover needs to accelerate quickly in terms of electrification and improve Jaguar’s position in the crucial American market.

He said: “Although Jaguar Land Rover has to revert to its vehicle electrification plans, it has had a scorching period in the crucial US market, with the electric Jaguar I-Pace only selling 2,594 last year – half of what Audi has achieved with its e-Tron and far behind the Tesla Model X with 16,000 vehicles.

“The power of the Tesla brand with its supercharging network is a major selling point, while competition is also intensifying with the Mustang Mach-E, the Tesla Model Y and the VW ID. Four electric vehicles compete this year.

“So if and when the Jaguar XJ and later the J-Pace are launched, they will have to be truly amazing vehicles with inherent reliability and excellent support service to be successful.”

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