JAGUAR Land Rover has confirmed it will open a software engineering centre, creating 150 jobs in Shannon this year.
In conjunction with Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering team in the UK, the Shannon facility will be working on electric and automated driving vehicles. It will develop new technologies to support electrification and self-driving features on future Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.
Nick Rogers, Executive Director of Product Engineering for Jaguar Land Rover said: “Technical innovation lies at the heart of Jaguar Land Rover and our innovation is continuous. The new facility provides an exciting opportunity for us to pioneer future autonomous and electrification technologies.”
While it is thought that Brexit is a major factor in securing the jobs for Shannon, he claimed that it is still committed to its UK operations.“The heart of our business will always be in the UK. The creation of a team in Shannon strengthens our international engineering capabilities and complements our existing team of more than 10,000 engineers based in the UK.”
Supported by IDA Ireland, the Shannon team will start by developing the next generation of electrical architecture as well as exploring advanced driver assistance systems features for future vehicles.
Welcoming the announcement, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen said: “This is a great boost for Shannon, Co Clare and the Midwest Region. Jaguar Land Rover are iconic brands which have endured through innovation and staying ahead of their competitors. This new software engineering centre will bring 150 new high-quality jobs to Shannon. The region has much to offer with qualified and talented people and I wish Jaguar Land Rover and its team well in its endeavours.”
CEO of IDA Ireland, Martin Shanahan said: “This is excellent news. Having a globally recognised company of such international standing will greatly enhance Shannon’s reputation as a Centre of Excellence for such business. The 150 jobs will be of significant benefit to Clare and the Midwest region. Attracting investment into regional locations is a key focus for IDA Ireland and this project shows how the particular strengths of regional locations can be harnessed to attract investments. I wish Jaguar Land Rover every success.”
The company says it is looking for engineers with experience in artificial intelligence, safety critical systems and vehicle architecture.
It has agreed a partnership with online education provider Udacity, which specialises in courses such as automated driving, artificial intelligence, robotics and data analytics.
These courses will provide the skills to support Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering capabilities and ongoing technological innovation.
All of the companies new vehicle lines will be offered with the option of electrification from 2020. It will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across the model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles. The first fully electric performance SUV, the Jaguar I-PACE, is to go on sale this year. Jaguar Land Rover is developing new automated technologies to offer customers a choice of engaged or autonomous driving.
It will locate its new software engineering centre at two new state-of-the-art buildings at the Shannon Free Zone, a four-storey office block and an advanced technology engineering unit, which combined provide almost 90,000 square feet.
Shannon Group CEO Matthew Thomas said, “The 150 jobs announced today are testament to a bold and well thought out investment programme by Shannon Commercial Properties delivering state-of-the-art facilities. We have a brilliant combination of newly developed sites in the Shannon Free Zone next door to a fantastic international airport that creates a compelling proposition for business. It is no surprise that over 40% of US FDI companies in Ireland are within Shannon Airport’s catchment area and every FDI announcement in the Mid-West cites the connectivity provided by Shannon Airport as a key factor in their investment decision.”