Indian owned luxury car-maker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has confirmed that it is giving the go-ahead to a new small Range Rover model but will close one of its two factories in the West Midlands. The Halewood plant on Merseyside where the new car will be produced is not under threat.
The styling themes of the small Range Rover have already been trailed by the company's LRX concept car. The new model is designed to address Land Rover's central problem - how to maintain premium pricing, and also the formidable off-road performance for which the company's products are renowned, in a much lighter, more economical package.
JLR has not said which of its two West Midlands plants - Solihull or Castle Bromwich - it will close; that decision will require a further round of analysis. The Solihull factory has been Land Rover's traditional base for decades, while Castle Bromwich houses Jaguar's expertise in aluminium construction, which is expected to play an important part in weight reduction for both marques. No compulsory redundancies are planned.