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Jaguar XE

Jaguar moves XE production from Solihull to Castle Bromwich

Jaguar XEJaguar 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.

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.

Video: Jaguar XE at Castle Bromwich

Toyota Burnaston

Britain has built 1 million cars already in 2016

Toyota BurnastonNew car production in Britain is marking a full year of growth by topping the 1 million year-to-date production total, the SMMT has revealed.

1,023,723 cars have been built in the UK thus far this year, a 12.3% increase on 2015 figures – and, encouragingly, exports have outpaced even this growth, with volumes sent overseas up 13.7%.

This is particularly good news for post-Brexit UK: the fall in the value of the pound makes exports more lucrative for car makers.

The running total is the best performance since 2000 and it’s the first time since 2004 that volumes have risen above 1 million in the first seven months.

“UK car production in 2016 is booming,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes, “with new British-built models in demand across the world.”

So far in 2016, 77.8% of UK car production has been exported overseas – that’s almost 800,000 vehicles.

“Manufacturers have invested billions to develop exciting new models and produce them competitively in the UK.”

But what about the risks of Brexit and car makers taking investment to other countries? Hawes indirectly addressed this too.

“Future success will depend on continued new car demand and attracting the next wave of investment, so Britain must demonstrate it remains competitive and open for business.”

Over to you, government ministers…

Nissan Sunderland

Furious Nissan taking legal action against Vote Leave in Brexit row

Nissan SunderlandNissan is seeking an injunction in the High Court against the EU Vote Leave campaign following persistent use of the firm’s name and logo without permission.

The official European Referendum ‘Brexit’ campaign has, says Nissan, used the firm’s name and logo in its literature and on its website – even after Nissan’s “repeated requests for them to stop.

Brexit Remain vote ‘critical’ warns UK automotive industry

“Permission to use our name and logo was not requested. If it was, it would not have been granted.” Nissan says Vote Leave’s use of its brand symbol “grossly misrepresents our widely circulated and publically stated position”.

Nissan has thus issued legal proceedings in the High Court, “asking for an injunction to stop Vote Leave’s use of Nissan’s name and logo, and to prevent them from making any further false statements and misrepresentations concerning Nissan”.

Rather than taking sides in the Brexit referendum, Nissan is not supporting any political campaign, deeming it “a matter for the people of the UK to decide”.

It did, however, say in February that it would prefer Britain remained in the EU: “For us, a position of stability is more favourable than a collection of unknowns,” said Nissan chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn.

8 in 10 Nissans built in the UK are exported, with most of them going to other European markets.

Nissan Great Britain

Brexit Remain vote ‘critical’ warns UK car industry

Nissan Great BritainThe UK automotive industry says a ‘Remain’ vote in this Thursday’s European Referendum is “critical to the future” of the industry – and has warned a vote to Leave for Brexit could jeopardise jobs and investment.

Supporting 800,000 jobs in the UK, the UK automotive industry is a major player and its trade body, the SMMT, has spoken today to deliver “absolute clarity on the sector’s position given recent misrepresentations.

“There should be no ambiguity about the sector’s views ahead of such a critical vote.”

SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, said a Remain vote will continue the automotive industry’s success, “rather than jeopardise it by increasing costs, making our trading relationships uncertain and creating new barriers to our single biggest and most important market, Europe.”

80% of cars built in Britain are exported, helping contribute £15.5 billion annually to the UK economy: nearly 6 in 10 go to Europe.

“Remaining will allow the UK to retain the influence on which the unique and successful UK automotive sector depends,” said Hawes.

Automotive industry leaders back Remain

The SMMT carried out a survey ahead of the campaigning period to find out members’ views on the European Referendum vote. 77% backed Remain; 9% backed Leave.

“Notably no large company said that an exit would be in their business’ best interests.”

Key reasons given for a remain vote by the SMMT include:

  • Unrestricted access to the world’s largest single market
  • The negotiating strength of the EU to secure international trade deals
  • The ability to shape technical regulations
  • Free movement of labour

The trade body has also today released statements from senior chiefs from Britain’s biggest automotive industry players.

Ken Gregor, Chief Financial Officer of Jaguar Land Rover: “Remaining in the EU – our largest market – will increase Jaguar Land Rover’s chances to grow, create jobs and attract investment in future technologies. Our European supply chain has been fundamental in helping us to meet customer expectations worldwide and achieve sustainable, profitable growth.”

Tony Walker, Deputy Managing Director, Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK: “After considered review, we believe that continued membership of the European Union is best for our business and for our competitiveness in the longer term.”

Dr Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management, BMW AG: “We firmly believe Britain would be better off if it remained an active and influential member of the EU, shaping European regulations which will continue to impact the UK whatever the decision on Thursday.”

Rory Harvey, Managing Director and Chairman of Vauxhall: “We are part of a fully integrated European company where we benefit from the free movement of goods and people. We believe not to be part of the EU would be undesirable for our business and the sector as a whole.”