Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced large-scale investments at an event in London featuring executives from JLR and parent company Tata Motors. Engines will enter production at the Wolverhampton plant, and plans were unveiled for the fully electric i-Pace SUV.
The investment comes after concerns affecting JLR including Brexit, declines in diesel sales, and threats of US tariffs. Issues impacting JLR were the primary factor in Tata Motor’s share price dropping 4% intraday on Monday. Share price continued to fall today, as of writing standing at 276 INR.
The E-Pace, i-Pace, Range Rover Velar and new Range Rover and Range Rover Sports were introduced last year, though overall sales on JLR vehicles only rose 1.7%. According to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) data there were 9,635 JLR vehicles registered in the UK in May, showing a year-on-year rise for a current market share of 5%.
Global research firm CLSA’s current position is that JLR’s benefits from operating leverage will be limited on the back of weak demand. In addition, it expects the company’s cash flow to remain under pressure until at least the end of the 2019-20 financial year.
A JLR spokesperson said: “Sales and revenue did not grow as much as we planned with diesel uncertainty impacting the UK and European markets, exacerbated in the UK by Brexit and cyclical weakness.
“Margins and profitability were well below our internal targets and as a result cashflow was negative after investment spending.”
JLR has already invested £1bn in its engine plant on the i54 site in Wolverhampton, where around 1,600 people work. Factory size has been doubled to 2m square feet, though any plans on any further expansion at the site remain unconfirmed.
Black Horse, the car finance arm of Lloyds Banking Group, have announced a continuation of their partnership with JLR to provide finance for customers buying new Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles and support retailer finance until the end of 2020.