Jaguar poised for Formula E move

By Alan Baldwin
The Jaguar logo is pictured at a Jaguar Land Rover showroom in Mumbai February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) are preparing to enter Formula E with the electric racing series also set to confirm more manufacturers in its 2016-17 season.

"We have some really important news coming up that will reinforce the momentum of the championship. We are announcing more OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) coming," Formula E chief executive Alejandro Agag told Reuters.

While the Spaniard gave no names, an informed source told Reuters separately that Jaguar, owned by India's Tata Motors, were planning to enter in the 2016-17 season.

Jaguar have also scheduled a news conference for an "exciting announcement' on Tuesday.

Sky television reported that JLR, who are expected to commit to launching an electric car, had decided to join Formula E to develop green technologies for their road cars in conjunction with the Williams Formula One group.

Williams F1 chief executive Mike O'Driscoll is a former managing director of Jaguar, leading the company through the sale to Tata in 2008.

Formula E currently has a maximum 10 teams, so any manufacturers looking to come in would have to replace or take over an existing entity.

Five of the current teams already have links to manufacturers with Renault, Citroen's DS brand and Audi among those represented.

"Jaguar Land Rover is continuously evaluating new opportunities for the business," the company said in a statement in response to speculation.

"As part of that process we consider a wide range of activities including motorsport. At this point we have no new announcements to make and any news is speculation only."

Jaguar's last major foray into motorsport ended at the end of 2004 when the then-Ford owned company sold their unsuccessful Formula One team to Red Bull, who turned them into world beaters.

The company is rapidly expanding its model line-up and announced on Friday that it will build a car plant in Slovakia.

(Additional reporting by Costas Pitas, editing by Ed Osmond)

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