JLR round-up: Keir Starmer on the future and Range Rover upgrades

Welcome to our regular news round-up relating to all things Jaguar Land Rover.

We look at some of the stories from around the world about Britain’s biggest car maker, which has its global headquarters in Coventry.

It continues to be an extremely challenging time for the car maker as the automotive industry struggles due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As always CoventryLive has been writing about the Whitley-based company, and much of our latest round-up covers stories we have published.

We wrote about the Range Rover line-up being enhanced  with the introduction of a new mild hybrid diesel engine.

The new unit is available in both the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models.

The Jaguar Land Rover plant in Solihull

As speculation continues regarding Jaguar Land Rover’s future and talk of a Government loan or even a stake, we caught up with Labour leader Keir Starmer on the subject.

We also revisited the subject of an electric car battery gigafactory coming to Coventry.

Our last round-up told how Britishvolt had chosen South Wales over Coventry for the location of what is likely to be the UK’s first gigafactory.

However West Midlands Mayor Andy Street spoke exclusively to CoventryLive to say that was not the end of the matter and Coventry should not give up hope.

While it is not an exclusively a Jaguar Land Rover issue, any gigafactory in the Midlands would most likely have Jaguar Land Rover as its biggest customer.

A previous round-up touched on the subject of who Jaguar Land Rover’s new boss might be.

The car maker’s current supremo, Ralf Speth, is set to step down in September and the announcement of who his successor will be is believed to be imminent.

We took a closer look at who the candidates might be.

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We also told how Jaguar Land Rover, in partnership with the University of Cambridge, has unveiled new contactless touchscreen technology, designed to help keep drivers’ eyes on the road and reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses in a post Covid-19 world.

Elsewhere Carscoops took an interesting look at some of the Chinese copycat vehicles created to ape the models of Western car makers.

One of the most infamous was the Landwind X7, which was a blatant copy of the Range Rover Evoque.

It prompted a lengthy legal battle by Jaguar Land Rover, which the car maker eventually won.

Land Rover upgrades Range Rover line-up with new green engine option and more

Jaguar Land Rover has enhanced its Range Rover line-up with the introduction of a new mild hybrid diesel engine.

The engine is being introduced in the Range Rover and the Range Rover Sport making both vehicles more fuel efficient and greener.

The 48-volt system is mated to a straight six cylinder version of Jaguar Land Rover’s Ingenium engine and is available in two power outputs of 300 and 350ps.

In the latest Range Rover it offers an average fuel return of up to 33mpg while in the Range Rover Sport it is good for 34 to the gallon.

The new powertrain replaces the previous V8 diesel set-up in both models and offers emissions as low as 225g/km in its D300 configuration.

You can read the full CoventryLive story here.

Labour leader Keir Starmer: Jaguar Land Rover cannot be allowed to fail

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said that Jaguar Land Rover cannot be allowed to fail and he would be prepared to work with the Government on a support package.

However, he did not specify what kind of stimulus Jaguar Land Rover should receive and told CoventryLive that he had not been privy to reported negotiations between ministers and the Coventry based auto giant.

Mr Starmer spoke on a visit to a primary school in Keresley Heath on Monday (July 20) as uncertainty continued to cloud the future of Britain’s biggest car maker.

A partial return to strength after JLR furloughed half its UK workforce of up to 20,000 workers amid the coronavirus pandemic in April came last week as 650 employees resumed duties in Solihull.

You can read the full CoventryLive story here.

Coventry’s gigafactory hopes are still alive and kicking, says mayor

Tesla’s gigafactory in Nevada

Coventry should not give up on being home to a gigafactory just yet, despite losing out in a deal between the Welsh Government and the company hoping to build the first one in the UK.

On Friday July 17 South Wales was announced as the preferred site for the huge manufacturing operation to produce batteries for electric vehicles and the estimated 3,500 jobs it would create.

Britishvolt, the start-up company behind plans for the gigafactory, confirmed South Wales as its preferred location for the project over Coventry.

But West Midlands Mayor Andy Street believes that is not the end of the matter and that Coventry could still become the location for a gigafactory.

You can read the full CoventryLive story here.

Who could Jaguar Land Rover’s next boss be?

Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover chief executive

Jaguar Land Rover boss Ralf Speth is set to step down from his role as chief executive in September prompting speculation as to who his successor might be.

Several publications have discussed the subject, including Automotive News Europe and the Financial Times.

Mr Speth’s departure was announced in January this year.

The Coventry car maker confirmed Mr Speth would leave his role after 10 years in charge to become a non-executive vice chairman of the business.

The 64-year-old engineer, who will turn 65 on September 9, has been chief executive since 2010, when Tata purchased the business from Ford.

You can read the full CoventryLive story here.

Jaguar Land Rover unveils contactless touchscreen to help contain bacteria and viruses

Jaguar Land Rover’s predictive touch contactless touchscreen technology

Jaguar Land Rover has unveiled new contactless touchscreen technology, designed to help keep drivers’ eyes on the road and reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses in a post Covid-19 world.

The Coventry car maker has developed the new system in partnership with engineers at the University of Cambridge.

The patented technology, known as ‛predictive touch’, uses artificial intelligence and sensors to predict a user’s intended target on the touchscreen – whether that’s satellite navigation, temperature controls or entertainment settings – without touching a button.

The system forms part of Jaguar Land Rover’s Destination Zero mission – a long-term ambition to make its vehicles safer and the environment cleaner and healthier.

It has been developed to fulfil the requirements of a post-lockdown world, where greater emphasis will be placed on safe, clean mobility where personal space and hygiene will carry premiums.

You can read the full CoventryLive story here.

These are the most blatant Chinese knockoff vehicles

The LandWind X7

Carscoops looked at some famous Chines copycat vehicles, including the infamous Landwind X7.

Its report said: « China is home to all kinds of copycat products, including everything from fashion to timepieces to technology and, of course, vehicles.

« In this video from CarWow, we are presented with some of the most blatant knockoffs out of China. Some you’re probably already familiar with, but there are some that may be new to you.

« One of the most infamous knockoffs from China is the Landwind X7 that was built between 2015 and 2019.

« Clearly ‘inspired’ (aka, being an almost direct copy) by the first-generation Range Rover Evoque, the X7 demonstrated just how hard it is for foreign automakers to protect their designs in the People’s Republic.

« Jaguar Land Rover took Landwind to court in 2015 but lost. In 2019, however, it did eventually win the case, forcing production of the X7 to end. »

You can read the full Carscoops report and watch the CarWow video here.