Jaguar Land Rover must "attack emissions like never before" if it is to be a sustainable business, according to owner Tata Motors's vice chairman Ravi Kant.
Speaking at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders International Automotive Summit, which was attnded by business secretary Lord Mandelson, Kant highlighted the collapse of Detroit's car industry, and warned that the same could happen in Birmingham or Liverpool if car makers don't adapt.
Mandelson backs low-carbon tech
"We must accept both the rigours of the changing global economy and the challenges of a changing global society," said Kant.
"That is why in JLR we are in the midst of a major transformation plan to withstand future shocks and to create a sustainable business. That is why the new product plan laid down by JLR will attack emissions like never before.
"Jaguar has a new line-up that is transforming the brand. The new XJ is not only a beautiful and highly desirable product; it is also one of the most fuel efficient luxury cars on sale in the world.
"The Land Rover range has also been refreshed and we recently announced that a new smaller Range Rover will soon join the family. It will be the most environmentally friendly Land Rover ever.
"The company is moving towards lighter vehicle architectures for both brands and fuel efficiency will be further improved through hybridisation and alternate energy options.
"We believe Jaguar Land Rover can be a protagonist in the UK's drive for low-carbon leadership."
Kant says JLR's investment in green tech is already paying off, and highlighted the fact that JLR spends £400 million on research and development every year in the UK, and has committed £800 million to developing environmental technology in the UK in the future."
"We are investing to take forward that same philosophy and want the two iconic brands Jaguar and Land Rover, each with its unique heritage, to regain their past glory," said Kant.
"Tata Motors is committed to stand alongside and support JLR to emerge as a strong and competitive global auto player.
"And, given the scale of our presence in this country, we in Tata would like to be perceived to be as British as any major UK company. We have a great stake in success in Britain and Britain also has a great stake in our success."