Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) said on Monday it plans to open a software engineering centre in western Ireland, to focus on automated driving and electrification technologies.
The company said it plans to hire 150 engineers for the centre, which is to be based in Shannon, county Clare, where Intel has also had a research facility since 2000.
JLR said it selected Shannon because it’s recognised internationally as a hub for software engineering.
Last year the company, the UK’s largest carmaker, said all its new vehicles would be available in electric or hybrid versions from 2020. It’s building its first fully electric model, the I-PACE, in Austria, set to go on sale this year.
“The new facility provides an exciting opportunity for us to pioneer future autonomous and electrification technologies,” stated JLR’s chief engineer, Nick Rogers.
He said that while JLR’s business remains centred in Britain the Shannon team “strengthens our international engineering capabilities and complements our existing team of more than 10,000 engineers based in the UK”.
JLR’s chief executive, Ralf Speth, has said that the company plans to keep its principal R&D operations in Britain after its exit from the EU, even as it expands its manufacturing facilities internationally in countries including Slovakia, Brazil and China.
The company’s three UK factories produce more than 500,000 of the 620,000 vehicles JLR sells each year.
In June of last year JLR said it would hire 5,000 engineers and technical staff in a major UK recruitment drive.
Ireland’s development agency has helped fund JLR’s research project, but no details of the investment were provided.
Tax breaks and other forms of assistance have helped attracted major US IT firms including Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter to Ireland, all of which have established or expanded European bases there in recent years.
Ford also said on Monday it would increase its investment into electric vehicles, boosting it to $11 billion (£8bn) a year by 2022, sharply higher than a previously announced figure of $4.5bn by 2020.
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