Land Rover’s plan to restore sales and fiscal health over the next few years – and set itself on the right low-carbon road – sounds plausible, given how much it achieved in the Tata-owned decade just ended. It scored bumper sales in many of those years, changed promptly to engines of its own manufacture and is finding ways to counter the demise of diesel.
But big challenges loom. The company has just made more than 4500 people redundant and a big proportion of these were technical experts. Who’s creating the all-new electrified solutions that will be needed at a higher level than ever? Did the departing engineers finish all their work before they turned out the lights?
Land Rover’s other major challenge looks to be build quality. The company has never truly lifted itself out of the quality doldrums. On top of that, it faces a new era of technical complexity. Will new customers keep forgiving unreliability the way loyal customers always have?
Rumours persist that big corporate suitors see JLR as a prime acquisition target and, as the height of the company’s future obstacle emerges, it’s hard to resist the truth of that.