Jaguar is moving production of its XE junior executive saloon from Solihull to Castle Bromwich to help boost volumes of the Solihull-built F-Pace SUV.
The Solihull ‘factory within a factory’ – a new Jaguar production facility built within the Land Rover Solihull plant’ – will now be used only to build the in-demand F-Pace SUV for Jaguar.
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In moving the XE to Castle Bromwich, Jaguar will construct it alongside the larger XF executive saloon: the two cars use the same aluminium architecture so the process should be straightforward. To facilitate the move, Jaguar is investing an extra £100 million in Castle Bromwich.
It’s quite a turnaround for Castle Bromwich, which faced closure in 2008. Since then, Jaguar has invested heavily in it: £500 million has gone into it in the past two years alone.
Castle Bromwich currently builds the Jaguar XF plus the low-volume XJ and F-Type, and so is arguably underutilised. In contrast, the Solihull line builds the high-volume XE and ultra-successful F-Pace: it also, oddly, builds the Range Rover Sport on the same line, another in-demand machine.
Moving the XE to Castle Bromwich will fill capacity at the huge plant next to the M6 motorway, leaving Solihull to concentrate on the F-Pace – which has already become the fastest-selling Jaguar of all time.
So far this year, Jaguar sales are up 72%, to 85,726 – and in August, with the F-Pace fully on stream, they rocketed 104% to 10,868. The Jaguar XE was launched in the United States this summer.
Solihull will continue to operates 24/7, with three shifts running around the clock during weekdays.