MP for North Warwickshire and Bedworth, Craig Tracey, has welcomed Jaguar Land Rover’s announcement that it will invest £1bn to build the next generation of electric and hybrid vehicles in the UK.
Commenting on the news, Mr. Tracey said “This is a welcome decision by Jaguar Land Rover for my constituents across North Warwickshire and Bedworth. The retooling of the Castle Bromwich plant is a welcome investment, and the production of additional battery packs at Hams Hall is a major endorsement in the skills of our local workforce, which is difficult to replicate elsewhere.”
Jaguar will at first be producing the new electric XJ, as well as the XE, XF and F-Type models currently made. The move is a welcome vote of confidence in the UK car industry as the UK leaves the European Union. Commenting on CEO Ralf Speth’s call for a battery ‘gigafactory’, Mr Tracey said:
“If the industry can agree a proposal for a ‘gigafactory’, it is certainly something I would look into and be minded to support. Obviously, Hams Hall would be the optimal site for such a project, but we have to wait and see what is proposed.”
Several European countries, including Germany and Sweden, are trying to attract gigafactories to make electric car batteries, to provide local supply for carmakers and to break the dominance of plants in China, South Korea and Japan.
While demand for electric cars remains below 1 per cent of sales, the UK government has committed to make the country carbon “net zero” by 2050, something that would require the total or near total electrification of the transport network. With Nissan making the electric Leaf in Sunderland, Jaguar Land Rover’s announcement is another sign of opportunities for the UK.