Plans to create 700 new jobs at car giant Jaguar Land Rover and invest an extra £165 million at one of its UK plants came as welcome news to the British government on Tuesday at a time when its attempts to boost economic output seem to have stalled. David Sapsted reports for Re:locate.
The extra jobs will be on top of 700 that JLR has already announced at its new engine factory near Wolverhampton, which opens later this year, with the first engines coming off the production line in 2015.
JLR made the announcement at the Geneva Motor Show, saying, "Jaguar Land Rover's new engine manufacturing centre in the UK is essential to support the company's long-term strategic growth plans and will be the home for a new generation of technologically advanced, lightweight 4-cylinder low emission diesel and petrol engines. "
Dr Ralf Speth, CEO, added, "Jaguar Land Rover's new engine manufacturing centre in the UK is a clear demonstration of our business strategy guiding our investment plans.
"Not only does it bring our engine supply back to our production doorstep, but it gives us significant new resource as we continue to innovate with new products and markets."
Vince Cable, the government's business secretary, said, "Jaguar Land Rover has added almost 9,000 new jobs at its UK sites over the last two years. These additional 1,400 jobs at the Wolverhampton engine manufacturing centre is more good news for UK manufacturing by boosting exports and creating new apprenticeships.
"With 2.5 million engines produced in this country last year, the UK has established a reputation as a leading global engine manufacturer. JLR's increased investment in the plant to more than £500 million will reinforce that position."
Len McCluskey, general secretary of the trade union Unite, which represents many JLR workers, added, "Having lobbied JLR and the last Labour government to set up a new engine plant in the West Midlands, we're delighted that this state-of-the-art facility is going to be expanded.
“This is a fantastic boost for manufacturing. JLR is going to build its own engines and it is going to manufacture them here in Britain. This is a massive vote of confidence in the skills of the UK workforce.”