JLR's spending spree reached £4.2 billion in the 2018 financial year, which included its £1 billion investment in a vehicle assembly plant in Nitra, Slovakia, that opened that year.
Keen to cut ties with former owner Ford, which sold the brands to Tata Motors in 2008, JLR developed its own range of four- and six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines, housed in a new powertrain plant that opened in 2014.
The factory, where JLR builds the new Defender and Discovery SUVs, came in addition to the company's three U.K. plants and one Chinese factory.
It also added two complete knockdown kit plants, one in India and one in Brazil during the period.
The infrastructure was now in place for JLR to make 1 million vehicles a year, but retail sales never caught up. They peaked at 614,309 in the 2019 financial year but fell to 439,588 during its latest financial year, which ended March 31.
Cost cutting undertaken since 2019 reduced JLR's annual break-even figure to 400,000 in the last financial year, Mardell said. Spending is clamped at £2.5 billion annually for the next four years.
"We have reset this company by seven years [taking the automaker's cost base back to the same point it was before profits reached peak levels]," he told investors.
JLR will be profitable again, he predicted, forecasting an EBIT margin of 4 percent in the current financial year that started April 1, rising to 7 percent in the 2024 financial year and 10 percent in 2026 financial year.
The message from JLR now is one many other automakers have trumpeted in recent months: profit before volume.
"Our models returning the lowest profitability will make room for those that make the best returns," Bollore said.
Pitching the Jaguar XE and XF sedans, launched in 2014 and 2015, respectively, as rivals for high-volume models from German competitors was a mistake from the start, according to experts.
"If you think you can compete with the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class or Audi A4 with sales of 700,000 a year, you can't. You are chasing a runaway train," a former senior automotive executive with experience in the premium sector, who asked to remain anonymous, told Automotive News Europe.
Chasing the Germans meant JLR "overcomplicated the palette," the executive said, by launching Jaguar utilities that competed with Land Rovers.