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Jaguar becomes latest automaker to go fully electric

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Jaguar Land Rover's bold new concept vehicle, Project Vector, has been unveiled as part of the company's Destination Zero journey, offering its vision of an autonomous, electric, connected future for urban mobility on February 18, 2020.

Luxury automaker Jaguar’s lineup will consist only of electric cars starting in 2025 as parent company Jaguar Land Rover pushes into the global market for emission-free vehicles.

The British firm also plans to largely electrify its Land Rover SUV brand over the next decade in an effort to “reimagine” both labels as environmentally friendly businesses.

Jaguar Land Rover will spend about 2.5 billion British pounds (roughly $3.5 billion) a year on electrification and other technologies in its quest to achieve “net zero” carbon emissions by 2039, according to its Monday announcement.

The automaker, owned by India’s Tata Motors, said it will turn Jaguar into a “pure electric luxury brand” by the middle of the decade, with electric vehicles accounting for 100 percent of the label’s sales by 2030.

Land Rover will be a bit further behind — the brand will roll out six purely electric models in the next five years, the first of which will arrive in 2024. Emission-free vehicles are expected to account for about 60 percent of all Land Rovers sold by 2030, according to a press release.

Jaguar Land Rover said it will keep all three of its UK plants running, with its Solihull facility serving as the base of Jaguar’s electric manufacturing. But the revamped Jaguar lineup won’t include the new XJ sedan that the company had planned to build at its plant in Castle Bromwich, England.

A electric Range Rover made by Jaguar Land Rover on display during the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire.
A electric Range Rover made by Jaguar Land Rover on display during the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire.
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“Others have to rely solely on external partnerships and compromise, but we have frictionless access that will allow us to lean forward with confidence and at speed,” Jaguar Land Rover CEO Thierry Bolloré, who took over in September, said in a statement.

Jaguar Land Rover is the latest automaker to make a significant bet on electric vehicles.

Bentley, another British luxury brand, announced in November that it would only make electric cars by 2030. And American giant General Motors pledged last month to go largely electric by 2035.

With Post wires

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Sweetgreen salad chain files for IPO

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Sweetgreen salad chain files for IPO

Salad chain sweetgreen said on Monday it had confidentially filed for an initial public offering in the US, hopeful of strong investor interest as demand for plant-based food products surges globally.

The company, which counts tennis star Naomi Osaka as its youngest investor, was valued at $1.8 billion after a funding round earlier this year, according to media reports. T.Rowe Price, Lone Pine Capital and D1 Capital Partners are among sweetgreen’s other investors.

California-based sweetgreen, which was founded in 2007 and has more than 100 stores in the US, did not reveal more details about the size of the proposed IPO.

Plant-based food companies have attracted investor attention over the past few years, particularly as more people gravitate to healthy and environment-friendly food.

Much of the demand is being led by millennials and generation Z consumers, who are more than willing to spend on sustainable products that are also healthy.

About 65 percent of Gen Z consumers are in favor of plant-based foods, sweetgreen says on its website.

Last year, plant-based retail sales in the US hit $7 billion, up 27 percent year-on-year, according to a report by the Good Food Institute and the Plant-Based Foods Association.

Swedish oatmilk maker Oatly Group AB, which went public last month, closed nearly 53 percent above its IPO price on Friday. Plant-based burger maker Beyond Meat was also up 16 percent this year.

Sweetgreen is home to such options as the Kale Caasar, Peach Burrata, and Harvest Bowl Houson, and Cashew Pesto Sweet Potato. The chain is the brainchild of three college students looking for healthier diet options.

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Victoria’s Secret will change its name amid rebrand

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Victoria’s Secret is tweaking its name as it revamps its business

Victoria’s Secret — which has been aggressively overhauling its brand during the past year to appeal to a more diverse range of customers — likewise plans to tweak its name.

The lingerie giant said Monday it will be renamed Victoria’s Secret & Co. when it splits off from L Brands in August and becomes an independent, publicly-traded company.

The change comes amid a flurry of news around the quickly transforming business, which last week unveiled a new marketing campaign and collection — VS Collective — featuring seven women including soccer star, Megan Rapinoe, 17 year-old American skier, Eileen Gu and tech investor and actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas.

Its famous “Angels,” which over the years have included supermodels Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks and Gisele Bundchen, will be phased out of the company’s marketing after years of complaints that it excluded women with more natural looks and normal body types.

(L-R) Models Lily Aldridge, Karlie Kloss, Adriana Lima, Doutzen Kroes, Candice Swanepoel, and Behati Prinsloo walk the runway at the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on November 13, 2013 in New York City.
(L-R) Models Lily Aldridge, Karlie Kloss, Adriana Lima, Doutzen Kroes, Candice Swanepoel, and Behati Prinsloo walk the runway at the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on Nov. 13, 2013 in New York City.
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The company also announced last week a new board of directors, of which six of the seven directors are women.

“This is an exciting time for all of us at Victoria’s Secret,” chief executive Martin Waters said in a statement. “The progress we have made over the last year underscores our commitment to driving profitable growth, creating new opportunities for our talented associates and evolving our brand and product to reflect the diverse experiences, passions and perspectives of our our customers.”

Victoria’s Secret & Co. also will encompass the company’s Pink brand — which is focused on teens and women in their twenties.

Victoria's secret logo
Victoria’s Secret stores in recent months have been improving their profitability by slashing costs and scaling back discounts on lingerie.
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L Brands also owns Bath & Body Works, which will become an independent company in August as well. Its name will remain the same.

The Ohio-based company founded by billionaire Les Wexner, which has also been boosting profits at Victoria’s Secret by slashing costs and scaling back discounts, has seen its stock surge 69 percent year to date versus an 11-percent increase in the S&P 500.

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EEOC files lawsuit over worker fired for refusing to be fingerprinted

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EEOC files lawsuit over worker fired for refusing to be fingerprinted

A Minnesota man refused to leave fingerprints — and got fired for it.

As a result, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing a Minnesota firm on behalf of Henry Harrington, of Mound, who was sacked for refusing the company’s requirement to be fingerprinted on religious grounds, the Star Tribune reported Friday.

The EEOC suit against AscensionPoint Recovery Services, a debt recovery company, was filed this week.

AscensionPoint had requested that workers be fingerprinted as a result of a background check requirement of one of its clients, according to the EEOC.

Harrington, 37, however, told AscensionPoint in July 2017 that having his fingerprints captured was contrary to his Christian beliefs. He was fired the same day.

The suit seeks back pay for Harrington from the time he was fired, and other financial compensation for “emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life and humiliation.”

“An employee should not have to choose between his faith and his livelihood,” Gregory Gochanour, the EEOC’s regional attorney in the Chicago District Office, said in a statement.

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