LONDON -- Jaguar Land Rover won a 500 million-pound ($626 million) loan guarantee from the UK government, just over a week after announcing a new range of electrified cars will be made at a plant in central England.
The guarantee to JLR by the UK Export Finance agency was granted to support the design, manufacture and export of electric cars, Prime Minister Theresa May said after a round-table meeting of auto industry representatives in Downing Street on Monday.
JLR will invest hundreds of millions of pounds transforming its Castle Bromwich site near Birmingham after previously committing to electrified options of all new models from 2020. The first electric vehicle off the production line will be the ninth generation of Jaguar’s flagship XJ sedan.
The news on Castle Bromwich, which safeguards thousands of workers, provided a much-needed boost for a British automotive industry that’s been rocked by job cuts and plant closures. Brexit, a slowdown in China and flagging demand for diesel-powered vehicles have taken a toll on JLR, which said in January it would slash 4,500 positions worldwide to conserve cash.
May met senior auto industry figures including representatives from Ford, BMW, Nissan and PSA Group’s Vauxhall arm.