Jaguar Land Rover has this week reaffirmed its long-term commitment to the West Midlands, with confirmation of a £600m investment in the region to support product creation and advanced vehicle manufacturing.
The largest single investment has been made at the company’s Castle Bromwich Advanced Manufacturing Plant, where over £400m has been spent in new and upgraded facilities to support the introduction of the all-new Jaguar XF – that includes a £320m state-of-the art aluminium body shop which completes the site’s transformation into a global centre of excellence for lightweight vehicle manufacturing and constitutes the largest single investment in the history of the Castle Bromwich site.
The company has also announced the completion of its purchase of an additional 62 acres adjacent to the existing Advanced Design and Engineering Centre at Whitley, Coventry – this acquisition will more than double the size of the existing 55 acre site and the expanded facility will house Product Development Engineers working on “high technology ultra-low emission vehicles.”
Jaguar Land Rover has more than doubled the size of its UK-based workforce in the past five years, in part to keep up with demand for models popular all around the world. However, Jaguar Land Rover has also invested heavily in research and development, with efforts culminating in the new Jaguar XE and XF, which use new engines and lightweight materials.
Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Design leadership, technical innovation and engineering excellence lie at the heart of this responsible business and we are committed to investing in the skills needed to continue this success into the future. Great people and great products are the essence of this great British company.”
Meanwhile, the company’s Engineering Director, Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart, will stand down from that role with effect from April 2015. Nick Rogers (pictured left) will succeed Dr. Ziebart and assume board-level responsibilities for Jaguar Land Rover’s global engineering operations, reporting directly to Chief Executive Dr. Ralf Speth. Dr. Ziebart will continue to work with Jaguar Land Rover, focusing on technology development.
Commenting on the new appointment, Dr. Ralf Speth: “Dr Ziebart joined Jaguar Land Rover in July 2013 and has led the Engineering team through a period of continued growth as we have expanded our product range. I would like to thank Wolfgang for his stewardship, counsel and advice through this period and I look forward to his on-going involvement with the business.
“Nick has worked for Jaguar Land Rover for more than 30 years and has broad experience across Engineering, Manufacturing and product delivery. His experience, skills, passion and dedication to Jaguar Land Rover will make him a great leader for the Engineering team. I wish him every success in leading the teams that are creating the new Jaguar and Land Rover advanced technologies and vehicles of the future.”
Rogers, 47, joined Land Rover in 1984 and is currently Land Rover’s Global Vehicle Architecture Director but, prior to that, he was Vehicle Line Director for Range Rover and helped to develop and launch the current Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, two of JLR’s most successful vehicles.
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