60-acre site could help speed up the development of autonomous technology; the UK government will make the final decision
27 April 2016

Coventry and Warwick District councils have backed plans for Jaguar Land Rover to expand its Coventry site.

The car maker proposed to invest £500 million into absorbing a 60-acre site just south of its existing buildings in Whitley but was required to send off a dual application because the development spanned the jurisdiction of both localities.

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Having now received the double approval, JLR has issued a statement saying that the expansion will support its long-term strategy to grow the advanced engineering and design centres at Whitley.

However, despite being endorsed by both councils, the scheme is still subject to central government ratification. It is likely to be called in by the Secretary of State for review before it becomes reality.

If the plan goes ahead, the car maker expects to create an estimated 2000 jobs from Whitley's expansion. “The proposal could create additional high-quality research and development office space,” added the British manufacturer.

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Industry experts suspect this R&D expansion will help JLR speed up its development of new technologies for future production models, including the adoption of autonomous systems.

JLR has recently invested heavily in an autonomous driving project, with its director of research and technology Dr Wolfgang Epple stating that it’s “the sort of innovation infrastructure the UK needs to compete globally”.

The car maker is also close to taking control of the home of the British Grand Prix, Silverstone, in a reported £33 million deal.

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Our Verdict

Jaguar XE

Jaguar's first attempt at a compact exec saloon is good - very good. But can the XE hold off the BMW 3 Series and Alfa Romeo Guilia to retain its crown?

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week