Take that, Brexit naysayers. Not only has the chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover said he wants to build his electric car in the UK – creating thousands of jobs in the process, reports suggested.
In a speech at a meeting of political and automotive leaders last night, Ralf Speth said the company is planning to double production to 1m cars a year by 2020.
He added that he wants to make the UK a global centre of excellence for battery research and development – although warned that this is dependent on overcoming infrastructure and capacity issues.
After the company revealed its I-Pace electric car at the LA Motor Show last week ,Speth said it will be at least partly manufactured in the UK. The Financial Times reported he plans to create 10,000 jobs in the process – although Jaguar Land Rover couldn't comment on the number.
It added that business secretary Greg Clark, who was present at the meeting, said the British government "couldn't be more aligned" with that plan.
It's a big leap of faith for the company: some 80 per cent of the 500,000 vehicles it produces a year are exported, and although the government has done its best to give reassurances to the contrary, many of those at the top of the industry are concerned Brexit could leave them with trade tariffs of up to 10 per cent.
Last week Jaguar unveiled the I-Pace concept car, an electric SUV which "combines a supercar silhouette with sports car performance and five-seater SUV versatility".
The car will all but do away with so-called range anxiety: Jaguar said drivers with an average daily commute will only need to recharge it once a week.
Although Jaguar did not put a price tag on the vehicle, it said it "opens a new chapter in the history of our legendary brand".