Jaguar Land Rover opens new central England development centre
Tata Motors' Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has unveiled new facilities during a media event at its Gaydon site in Warwickshire, central England, creating what it claims is "one of the UK's most sustainable non-domestic buildings and the country's largest automotive creation and development centre".
Gaydon, a former Cold War era nuclear bomber airfield developed initially as an R&D site and test track by British Leyland, is now part of JLR's so called Destination Zero mission: "an ambition to make societies safer and healthier, and the environment cleaner".
It will focus is on achieving zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion across facilities and through products and services.
Around 13,000 engineers and designers are based on site, developing Jaguar and Land Rover brand vehicles. The centre is also working on future autonomous, connected, electrified and shared mobility technology which, JLR said, would lead to "long-term, sustainable growth".
CEO Ralf Speth said: "Megatrends like urbanisation and sustainability are fundamentally changing the automotive industry.
"...We not only participate – we are shaping future mobility. Our vision is for a world in which zero emission vehicles, public transport and self-driving pods will form one smart integrated and networked transport system.
"We have invested into the future and an inspiring environment for our people. We have created the prerequisites that Gaydon can design and engineer the next generations of outstanding cars in highest quality. We have consciously invested with a Destination Zero attitude."
The advanced product centre brings design, engineering and production purchasing under one roof for the first time in the automaker's history. The site occupies 4,000,000 square metres, (43,055,642 square feet) - equivalent to almost 480 football pitches.
The new facility provides about 50,000 square metres of additional workspace designed to encourage collaboration throughout the entire vehicle development process – from sketch to showroom. It includes the new Jaguar design studio, co-locating Jaguar and Land Rover design for the first time.
JLR claims its new offices are rated in the top 10% of most sustainable non-domestic buildings in the UK. Up to 20% of energy used will come from almost 3,000 square metres of photovoltaic solar panels on the roof and the remainder from 100% renewable sources.
The same glazing technology as the Eden Project has been used to bring natural light into the building wherever possible and make it more energy efficient.
Bringing the outside in, the company has created a natural environment in the expanded facility to promote personal health, wellbeing and productivity of employees at Gaydon. A natural landscape is at the heart of the site, creating an ecologically diverse area reusing 80,000 cubic metres ( 2,825,173 cubic feet) of natural soil excavated during the construction process, the equivalent of 30 Olympic sized pools.
Journey to Destination Zero begun
JLR said it had already begun on the Destination Zero and showed off both its latest vehicles and research technologies.
Developments include 3D printed ergonomic gloves, sensory steering wheels, upcycling domestic and high quality materials for future vehicles.
Preparing for an autonomous, connected, electrified and shared future, JLR has already successfully tested self driving vehicles on complicated inner city roads and is working with academia and technology companies to achieve further vehicle and service innovation.
For example, the continuous running of a fleet of all-electric Jaguar I-Pace taxis in Munich gives insights and learning to incorporate into the next generation of Destination Zero vehicles.
The automaker said it was on track to offer electrified versions of all new Jaguar and Land Rover models from 2020.
It said recently it would turn its Castle Bromwich facility into the UK's first premium electrified vehicle plant producing a range of new models starting with the next generation Jaguar XJ.
The just-redesigned Land Rover Defender was also designed and engineered in Gaydon.
It uses Ingenium engines built at Wolverhampton, will have mild hybrid (MHEV) from launch and a PHEV powertrain will be introduced next year.
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