Jaguar Land Rover pledges ‘heart and soul’ to UK as new model debuts in Solihull

Jaguar Land Rover Velar


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Jaguar Land Rover pledges ‘heart and soul’ to UK as new model debuts in Solihull” was written by Angela Monaghan, for The Guardian on Wednesday 1st March 2017 19.40 UTC

Jaguar Land Rover’s latest model is to be built exclusively at its plant in Solihull as the luxury carmaker pledged its “heart and soul” to the UK.

The Velar is be the fourth member of the 47-year-old Range Rover family and will be be available to order from this summer. The model will be sold in more than 100 markets globally.

Range Rovers are Britain’s largest luxury export, according to the carmaker, accounting for 85% of all luxury cars built in the UK and contributing £10bn a year to the economy.

Ralf Speth, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, said: The expansion of our product range and building this British-designed and engineered car in the UK is a sign of our confidence in British manufacturing.

“We are leading the global premium car industry with our commitment to our home market, and our heart, soul and headquarters will always be in the UK.”

The UK car industry backed the remain campaign in last year’s EU referendum, and has since warned that British manufacturing is at risk of “death by a thousand cuts” if companies choose to invest in other countries after the Brexit vote.

Japanese carmaker Nissan announced in October it would go ahead and build the next Qashqai and X-Trail models at its Sunderland factory. But the company’s boss Carlos Ghosn said in January that the plant’s competitiveness would be reviewed once the UK’s future relationship with the EU was settled.

The Velar is on display at the Design Museum in London until 6 March, and will make its global motor show debut in Geneva next week.

The starting price will be £45,000 in the UK, positioning it between the Evoque – the least expensive Range Rover – and the Range Rover Sport. It is the third model in two years to be launched at the West Midlands plant.

The decision follows a £1.5bn investment in new facilities and technologies at the Solihull factory, where about 10,000 people are employed.

JLR, owned by India’s Tata, said it directly supports more than 40,000 British jobs at manufacturing plants and a further 250,000 in the supply chain. Last year the company JLR 583,313 cars, 44% of which were Range Rovers.

The company also has manufacturing plants in Brazil, China and India and is building a factory in Slovakia.

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