More great news for UK PLC, as Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover confirmed fresh investment of £355 million in a new facility to manufacture advanced technology, low-emission engines near Wolverhampton in the West Midlands. It’s a clear signal that the Indian company is committed to UK production for its currently super-successful Jaguar and Land Rover marques.
The new engine facility will actually be built at i54 South Staffordshire, a business park near Wolverhampton in the UK’s Midlands, and joins MINI’s Hams Hall production plant to become the second substantial new plant of its type in the UK in the 21st century. The UK government said it would support JLR’s project through the Grant for Business Investment scheme, which provides up to £10 million.
The engine manufacturing facility was expected to create up to 750 highly-skilled engineering and manufacturing posts at JLR, along with thousands more of highly-skilled manufacturing jobs, and will be part of JLR’s plans to invest £1.5 billion a year for the next five years.
Chief Executive Officer Ralf Speth said: ‘As part of our long-term strategy for the JLR business, we will design, engineer and manufacture a new family of advanced engines. This is a major commitment for our company and we will produce these advanced, highly-efficient engines for future Jaguar and Land Rover models at a new facility in the UK.’
He added: “As we invest £1.5 billion a year for the next five years on new product developments, expanding our engine range will help us realise the full global potential of the Jaguar and Land Rover brands. The all-new family of four-cylinder engines will increase JLR’s capability to offer high-performance engines with class-leading levels of refinement, whilst ensuring continued significant reductions in vehicle emissions.’
This is excellent news, and comes on the back of what have been some very successful times for the company. JLR reported pre-tax profits of £1.1 billion in the financial year ended 31 March, up from £14.6 million the previous year. Revenue during the period was up by 51 per cent to £9.9 billion.