News : Jaguar Land Rover’s new engine plant

Keith Adams

JLR to expand UK operations
JLR to expand UK operations

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.

Keith Adams


  1. “a new facility to manufacture advanced technology, low-emission engines”

    as opposed to what? Low tech smokey old side valve units? 😀

  2. Good news 🙂

    But I do worry – there is a lot of cash being sunk into factory and equipment upgrades, which is lovely, but very reminiscent of Bernd P and BMW investing in MG Rover, until the BMW Board wanted better returns.

    What’s that, you say? Last year’s profit was over a billion quid? Sure, but it was a one-off leap from the prior year. I would be more comfy if there was lower but sustained growth. Upgrade investment needs to be tied to sustained revenue & profit levels, or we will get another Night of the Long Knives situation.

    And a Jag 4-cylinder? Hmmm.

    On the plus side, a new factory….wheee…. maybe they can crank out a few classic minis on the side 😉

  3. This is fantastic news, no caveats. Jaguar Landrover doesn’t have an engine manufacturing capability all of its own; it currently relies on Ford & Peugeot for its engine to be built, despite the petrol V8s being designed and developed by Jaguar. The cost per unit of each engine bought from Ford/Peugeot is higher than one built in house. Furtehrmore, relying on other OEMs is not an ideal situation when so many units are required. Additionally, lower spec. engines may find their way into products outside of Jaguar Landrover.

    4 cylinder Jags? Well, We’d all like to see them just sell 600bhp+ V12s but the business case falls down. Merc. have been shifting 4-pot diesels for years but the S-Class is no worse a vehicle for it.

  4. @Bob – surely theres room for a bit more optimism than that?

    JLR is looking very promising, backed by a wealthy conglomerate that seems keen to be big in the global car market. Soon, they’ll be building cars in China, and launching more new models, all upmarket with a healthy profit margin. Not a bad legacy for the old BL, and great news for jobs.

  5. Beats me how anybody can turn this into a negative story (Bob) – but hey we’re British I suppose. Fantastic news!

  6. I could never understand how it makes sense to build engines in one factory then load them on to trailers and drive them to another factory to build them. Lot’s of manufacturers do it, Ford for example ship petrol engines from Wales to plants all over europe, so there must be a business case for it, but Surely it’s cheaper to build them next to the car factory and put them on a conveyor belt?

  7. Dennis, it’s down to logistics and the geographical nature of where the factories are located. Daft past government policy meant that factories were built in random places of high unemployment and so that’s why you see car factories in Liverpool. BL had Speke for example (terrible decision).. i54 is pretty much smack bang between the Birmingham and Halewood car assembly facilities so geographically it makes sense. Had they been concentrated in the Birmingham area, I wouldn’t doubt that they’d have chosen the Coventry side because of easy access to the M6 (Castle Bromwich) and A45 (Lode Lane).

  8. and as for 4 cylinder diesel low emissions high performance engine- in a Jag? I have a funny feeling the police will be opening up their order books in a couple of years time….

  9. Mark Hayman – Jaguar hasn’t been “British” for over 20 years, probably just as well, would have died otherwise. As I’ve said before – I don’t care where the money comes from as long as British guys are working in British factories paying British taxes – sounds good to me! The last but one firm to asset strip BL was “British” Aerospace – don’t see any sign of TATA taking the value out JLR and running back to India!

  10. If Mercedes can do it and maintain it’s credibilty then I dare say that Jaguar can to- However it MUST be RWD by default for it to remain relevant as a Jaguar.. Something of a mistake that was made with the X-Type- and that’s before you get to the part Mondeo estate underpinnings.

    In my opinion, I’ve always considered Jaguar to be a potential British rival to Merc rather than BMW. BMW is far too souless whereas Mercedes has a much more advanced technological and soulful luxurious ethos. The difference between Merc and Jag was always that Jaguar got held back for so many years for one reason or another- Mercedes was able to power on ahead.

    Right now they always set their sights on BMW but I think they’re aiming the bar too low and should go after Merc.

  11. I would argue that JLR is still a British company – backed by foreign investors. Design, development and manufacturing is all done in the UK.

  12. In many ways this is good news but isn’t it really just adding jobs in Brum while also taking jobs away from the Ford empire where the engines are built at the moment ?


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