Land Rover is reportedly set for the largest investment in its history amid plans for a 16-strong model range – after the firm revealed it was making profits of more than £4.7 million a day.
The Gaydon car giant plans to double production and invest £10 billion over the next five years, according to a report in Autocar magazine, which outlines in detail an expanded range with a host of new models.
But while dismissing some of the details, Jaguar Land Rover nonetheless emphasised its “ambitious plans for growth” in line with pledges of a determined push to deliver 40 new models over the next five years.
Meanwhile the company continues to smash financial records after revealing pre-tax profits of £431 million for the second quarter of its financial year on the back of soaring sales in the Far East.
The plans to expand the range are believed to have been inadvertently revealed during the world launch of the new Range Rover in Morocco.
The magazine suggested it could be “the biggest investment that the UK car industry has ever seen”.
New models are reported to include additions to an expanded Range Rover family in the shape of a larger Evoque XL to bridge the gap between the existing Evoque and the next generation Range Rover Sport, as well as a convertible Evoque and a new ‘baby’ Evoque that would be just four metres long.
Other plans reportedly include an entire new Defender family with short and long wheelbase versions as well as a pick-up, a major expansion of the Freelander range with five and seven-seater and ‘baby’ variants and a luxury offshoot of the next generation Discovery.
It is even thought the existing Defender, which can trace its lineage right back to the original Land Rover Series One launched in 1948, will be retained in some form. It is thought the expansion of the range could double the firm’s annual sales by 2020. Predictions suggest if the global SUV market were to reach 22 million units by 2020 Land Rover could be set to claim three per cent of the market producing 600,000 vehicles each year. Autocar predicted the firm’s new aluminium production line at Solihull could produce up to 150,000 models annually.
A Land Rover spokesman said: “We can clarify that this is pure speculation, and this is Autocar’s view of what the future could look like. Autocar has recently attended numerous product briefings, motor shows and drive events – where the messages have included our ambition for growth – but it has not been granted any access to additional information or images.”
The quarterly profits revealed by the firm, which came on the back of sales of more than £3.2 billion, were more than double the £216 million recorded in the second quarter last year, when the company went to post a record annual profit of more than £1.5 billion.
The firm, owned by Indian giant Tata Motors, sold 84,749 vehicles globally across the quarter.
JLR chief executive Dr Ralf Speth said: “Jaguar Land Rover has delivered another quarter of positive results against a challenging economic backdrop. We continue to see strong sales across all of our key markets.
“Jaguar Land Rover will continue to invest in its products, plants and will drive further growth by spending in the region of £2 billion across the financial year.”
The company has created over 8,000 new jobs in the last two years to support its ambitious investment and growth plans including 1,100 new posts at Castle Bromwich and 1,000 new manufacturing positions at the Solihull plant.
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