Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) bosses have confirmed the existence of an all-electric Range Rover – and revealed that it and the upcoming Jaguar XJ EV have been delayed due to spending cuts during the pandemic.
- JLR to reveal all-electric Range Rover and Jaguar XJ in October and November 2020
- Both EVs will be based on the all-new MLA architecture
- JLR to cut investment on future models
When will the EVs be revealed?
Talking to investors, JLR’s chief financial officer Adrian Mardell said the two EVs will be revealed in October and November 2020, instead of their planned unveilings in August and September.
The two cars will be based on the Tata-owned British brand’s all-new MLA architecture and will be siblings under the skin. Very little is known about the battery-electric Range Rover, but it’s expected to be slightly lower in profile than the Velar, though of a similar length.
The two cars will be built at the retooled Castle Bromwich plant. He also spoke of a mystery new product described as “MLA MID”, which has also been delayed.
Have other models also been affected due to the pandemic?
Mardell told investors that engineering work on the next-generation Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models (both MLA-based) wasn’t paused during the lockdown. Work on the Defender 90 also continued unhindered.
How has the investment cut affected JLR?
There was also talk of JLR’s plans to cut investment on future models, with a new figure of about GBP 3-billion (Rs 28,200 crore), nearly GBP 1 billion (Rs 9,400 crore) lower than planned earlier.
Mardell described the investment as “more the kind of level going forward” and hinted that JLR planners had reduced the number of derivatives of future models to save money. Depending on the state of the global market, more future derivatives could also be culled.
He also disclosed that JLR’s business was being re-engineered – helped by the switch to a single platform – to thrive on volumes of slightly less than 5,00,000 units per year.
What were sales like before COVID-19?
Before COVID-19 hit, JLR was selling around 5,50,000 vehicles annually, Mardell said. He also claimed that he could see the company growing sales through 5,50,000 and on to 6,00,000 units annually, hinting that JLR would be highly profitable at that level. Describing the new Defender as a [sales] “game changer”, with new versions in the pipeline, he said JLR “had ambitions” for annual Defender sales to hit 1,00,000.
Mardell’s presentation also revealed that JLR’s warranty costs fell by a massive GBP 107m (Rs 1,021 crore), year on year, in the second quarter of this sales year.