Jaguar Land Rover, already the UK’s leading automotive investor in research and development with a £3billion spend in 2012, is doubling the number of jobs at is new Wolverhampton engine plant to 1400.
Dr Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer, said that the 700 new jobs at the four-cylinder engine plant, due on stream by 2015, are on top of the 800 new jobs already announced for the company’s Solihull assembly plant. ‘We are attracting some of the best talents in the UK,’ he said at a business briefing on the eve of the Geneva motor show.
The news came as JLR enjoyed its best year with global sales of 350,000 and year-on-year revenues up 20 per cent in the third quarter, said Dr Speth. ‘We are a small British company and not in the volume race,” he said. “But we have plans to expand our product range and global presence.’
The new all-aluminium Range Rover Sport will be revealed at the end of March, he said. This will be followed by diesel-hybrid models later this year, ‘and three more surprises which I will not tell you about just yet.’
Global Sales Director, Phil Popham, said that much of JLR’s sales growth will come from expanding Jaguar into new markets. Land Rover sells in 177 countries but Jaguar is only present in 135. The plan is to take Jaguar into another 40 or so markets alongside Land Rover with joint Jaguar Land Rover dealerships.
‘We’re opening 10 new dealers a month globally,’ he said.