Jaguar Land Rover’s plan to expand its manufacturing operations in the Coventry area of the UK was the subject of high level meetings late least year. Coventry Council members agreed to back the plan, which includes infrastructure improvements to roadways in the surrounding area, and an upgrade of the existing electrical grid to support the needs of the new new facilities. Last week, councillors approved the electrical plans, which include three kilometers of new underground cabling, some of which will cross stretches of public land in the area.
In November, JLR chief Ralf Speth requested the improvements as part of his plan to make the UK a top producer of electric vehicles, by manufacturing them at the company’s Whitley site. The request for the government funds came on the heels of the UK government’s announcement that it would be dedicating announced 390 million pounds of funding to boost the development of low emission vehicles and autonomous vehicles. Speth predicted the move would create 10,000 new jobs, and double JLR’s output. Presently, JLR’s only electric vehicle, the I-Pace, is due to be built in Austria by Magna-Steyr. Says Speth, it makes sense for JLR to bring production back to the West Midlands, “the home of our design and engineering.”
Coventry city councillor Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs, said: “Jaguar Land Rover is a major employer that is key to the future success of Coventry workers and we want to do all we can to make sure it has everything it needs to develop and create more jobs and investment in the city.”
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