Automotive conglomerate Jaguar Land Rover recently announced the cancellation of its 2023 Range Rover EV project. The announcement comes on the tail of a drop in sales for the automaker. Is this latest cancellation a sign that the brand will miss its 2025 all-electric deadline?
Modular Longitudinal Architecture
JLR’s MLA platform is designed for all-electric drive, plug-in hybrid, and mild hybrid electric vehicles. This architecture features a battery integrated into the floor and a dual-motor system with independently powered axels. This was the British automaker’s most flexible EV platform.
2023 Range Rover EV’s platform will not be released in any all-electric vehicles
The 2023 Range Rover EV isn’t the only model to be dropped. JLR no longer plans to release any all-electric vehicles on the MLA platform. The automaker cited rigorous emissions standards as the catalyst for the decision.
JLR had previously committed to exclusively producing electric cars by 2025. This setback does not bode well for that endeavor. However, engineering requires trial and error. Despite this setback, the brand could find success in the EV sector. Land Rover will use the MLA platform in future hybrid vehicles.
Embracing forward-thinking technology
British-based Jaguar Land Rover has embraced younger markets. The brand recognizes the importance of technological advancement to that market segment. High-end features such as 5G capable vehicles and software over the air capability ensure the brand remains relevant with younger shoppers.
Innovative camera technology provides some of the best driver visibility in the industry. Jaguar’s Advanced Driver assistance systems utilize these cameras and radar every 20 seconds to process new data and respond in real-time. The brand has an eye toward future automation as well as contemporary innovation.
Does the cancelation of the 2023 Range Rover EV mean the brand is facing larger setbacks?
JLR will reportedly write-off more than 1.4 billion dollars related to the MLA platform. This massive write-off is part of a larger one-time restructuring strategy meant to reimagine the brand. Only time will tell if JLR can pivot and reach that goal.
Jaguar hopes to position itself as a direct competitor to high-end luxury brands like Bentley and Aston Martin. Suffering such a massive financial loss, committing to a significant technological reinvention, as well as undertaking an elevation of brand status all at once may have been more than the automaker can rebound from.
Automotive News shared comments from Jaguar Land Rover North America’s Vice President of Marketing, Kim McCullough. McCullough said, “millennials are moving into the premium segment. They accounted for about 18 percent of U.S. premium sales last year, up from 10 percent in 2011. In the U.S., 25 percent of all sales were premium vehicles.”
The British automaker hopes to recoup the restructuring loss with new high-end models carefully curated for maximum profitability. Not only will JLR need to recover financially, but the brand will need to gain trust with young electric vehicle shoppers who are watching its response in this pivotal moment.