Jaguar Land Rover USA moved to a new headquarters in Mahwah, New Jersey in March, but on September 20th, they formally inaugurated it in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
Land Rover has been headquartered in New Jersey since the early 2000s, while Jaguar has roots in Mahwah into the 1990s. New Jersey has an unusual number of foreign auto manufacturers' North American headquarters and has for many years. Besides Jaguar Land Rover, the Garden State is home to BMW/MINI/Rolls Royce, Subaru, Volvo, and Ferarri. JLR's prior headquarters was also in Mahwah, but the new one is larger and has a prime location right off I-287 and Route 17, near the New York state line.
The Earl of Wessex unveiled a plaque to commemorate his role in the official opening -- plaque revealing being a particular skill the Royal Family excels at -- and met with employees who are veterans of the United States Armed Forces and active in community charities. HRH also arrived in Land Rover, which he may have found mildly amusing considering JLR products are the usual Royal runabouts back home.
The new facility, which cost $30 million, is 144,000 square feet. This includes a showroom to display the newest models and a 30,000 square foot research and development facility, as well as service bays to train technicians from across the country. The building was a former office for Sharp, but it was totally gutted to create "a more collaborative workspace and open environment, with conference rooms and meeting spaces to stimulate creativity." Staying in New Jersey was spurred by a tax break; Mercedes-Benz recently left the state for the Atlanta area, and JLR had apparently been considering moving to the South with some other foreign automakers.
Keeping their close connection to New Jersey, all catering is provided by Dartcor Food Services, which focuses on local farm-to-table ingredients. The coffee used on-site comes from a New Jersey roaster, and all paper products are eco-friendly and recyclable.
Part of the reason for staying is also that the New York City metropolitan area is JLR's largest American market, and being in the thick of it helps. As a New Jerseyite myself, I'm glad to see JLR staying here, creating both a boon for the state's economy and stability for employees who have put their roots down here -- the majority of their employees at headquarters live in-state. It also means that test and press vehicles in the United States will continue wearing our yellow-and-black "Vehicle Manufacturer" license plates.
If you're ever driving north on I-287 in New Jersey, keep an eye out to your right just before crossing into New York State, and the new building is next to the highway.
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