Jaguar to cut I-Pace output on battery shortage

LONDON — Jaguar Land Rover is pausing production of the Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV due to battery supply issues from LG Chem’s Poland plant.

JLR said it has adjusted production schedules of the model due to temporary supplier scheduling issues. “We are working with the supplier to resolve this and minimize impact on customer orders,” JLR said.

JLR did not name the supplier. It also did not say when the production pause would start.

The battery supplier is LG Chem, a source familiar with the matter told Automotive News Europe. The supply problem was not connected to the coronavirus outbreak in China, the source said.

The I-Pace, a rival to the Tesla Model X, is built at contract manufacturer Magna Steyr’s plant in Graz, Austria.

The Times newspaper reported that I-Pace production will stop for a week starting on Monday, Feb. 17.

The I-Pace uses battery cells produced at LG Chem’s plant in Wroclaw, Poland, one of the few large-scale battery cell producers in Europe. The factory opened in 2018.

The I-Pace has a large 90 kilowatt-hour battery pack to give it a long range. The car’s range is 470 km (292 miles) in Europe’s WLTP tests and 377 km (234 miles) under the U.S.’s EPA-rating.

Global sales of the I-Pace were 17,355 last year, the car’s first year on sale, according to company figures. The car was the brand’s fourth best-seller after the F-Pace and E-Pace SUVs, and the XE midsize sedan.

LG Chem was asked for a comment on the supply shortage.

LG Chem’s plant in Wroclaw will also supply battery cells for the Ford Mustang Mach E electric SUV that goes on sale later this year. The Mach E will use the same cells as the upcoming electric Ford Transit, a move that Ford says will help control the high costs of battery production.

Audi, Mercedes EVs

Battery shortages have also hit other automakers.

In January Audi cut production hours at its Belgium plant after battery supply issues from LG Chem in Poland restricted the number of e-tron electric SUVs it could build, Belgian paper L’Echo reported.

Audi will build 4,100 e-trons this year instead of the planned 5,700, the paper said. The e-tron is a rival to the I-Pace.

Mercedes-Benz has denied a German media report that said it plans to cut planned production of the EQC electric SUV, another I-Pace rival, to 30,000 this year from 60,000. The report in Manager Magazin said the problem partly stemmed from limited battery supplies from LG Chem.

Mercedes parent Daimler said its production plans for the EQC in 2020 had not been amended.

Font: Automotive News Europe

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