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Cash injection for JLR’s UK operations

Cashed up: JLR has confirmed a massive $A1.2bn investment in its research and development and manufacturing operations in the United Kingdom.

Jaguar Land Rover expands, breathes new life into its low-emission vehicle research

30 Mar 2015

JAGUAR Land Rover will inject £600 million ($A1.2bn) into its United Kingdom-based research and development and manufacturing operations in the United Kingdom to double its development of high-tech, low-emission vehicles.

The investment marks a massive turnaround by the company that was under threat during the global financial crisis, shown by revenue that has trebled since 2010 to about £19.4 billion ($A38bn) in 2014. Vehicles sales have doubled in the same period.

The expansion adds new facilities and employees in the advanced engineering field at its Castle Bromwich plant in West Midlands and at Whitley in Coventry.

Within the funds, £400 million ($A750m) is earmarked for new and upgraded facilities to support the introduction of the second-generation Jaguar XF that was unveiled in the UK last week.

About £320m ($A616m) has been allocated for a new aluminium body shop that can change production of panels between Jaguar models.

It is the biggest single investment in Castle Bromwich site and shows the massive turnaround in the site’s operations that were threatened with consolidation during the global financial crisis of 2008-2010.

At Whitley, Jaguar Land Rover will double the size of its advanced engineering and design centre from 22 to 47 hectares (116 acres).

The design centre will house highly skilled product development engineers and support the company’s creation of high-technology, low-emission vehicles.

Jaguar Land Rover chief executive officer Ralf Speth said the investment will help ensure the Indian-owned company’s future success.

“Our expansion at Whitley will help ensure the sustainable growth of Jaguar Land Rover, with the development of ultra-low emission technologies,” he 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.” Jaguar Land Rover has more than doubled its workforce in the past five years, creating 18,000 new jobs.

About 8000 engineers and technologists are based at its two UK engineering and design centres at Gaydon and Whitley.

Jaguar Land Rover will spend more than £3bn ($A5.7bn) on product creation and capital expenditure in the financial year ending March 2016.

It said 50 major new and model year vehicle upgrades will occur over the next five years.

Recent examples of low-emission technologies developed by the company include aluminium and lightweight component design and manufacture and the Ingenium engine family of four-cylinder, ultra-low emission petrol and diesel engines which will power a new generation of Jaguar Land Rover products.

The $A1.2 billion funds are in addition to $A300 million allocated to create an automotive technology, innovation and education centre at Coventry’s University of Warwick.

This 33,000-square metre facility, which is due to open in 2017, will become the hub for Jaguar Land Rover's advanced research. It will feature cutting-edge workshops, laboratories, virtual engineering suites and advanced powertrain facilities, equipped to enable a full range of design, visualisation and prototyping activities.

It will complement Jaguar Land Rover's product research and development centres in Gaydon and Whitley.

Jaguar Land Rover is also investing in people, including its award-winning and well-established apprenticeship and graduate programs, which have attracted about 2000 people over the past four years.

Almost 7000 employees are currently undertaking academic and vocational qualifications.

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