Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover spent £13 million getting its Formula E electric car racing team off the ground last year, new accounts showed today.
Jaguar Racing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of JLR, splashed out on research, racing and publicity as it hoped to promote its prowess in electric cars — but finished bottom of the standings last season. Debut accounts show revenues of £14 million — including £1 million gained from sponsorship from title partner Panasonic and seat manufacturer Lear — and a slim profit of £400,000 in the 14 months to March 2017.
The accounts cover the first three races of its inaugural season, where its best result was a fourth place at the Mexico City ePrix in April. They state that the “costs were in line with the directors’ expectations”.
The team is based at Jaguar’s Coventry factory and is run by former racing driver James Barclay.
It is crucial to JLR’s promotion strategy as it shifts its strategy towards electric cars.
The £13 million is a fraction of the investment required to compete in Formula 1, where team budgets come to an average of £200 million annually.
Jaguar owned an F1 team from 2000 to 2004 when it sold its outfit to energy drinks giant Red Bull after failing to win a race.
Audi, BMW and Nissan also have Formula E teams. The new season begins in December.