News - Jaguar
JLR to build new engine plant
UK boost as Jaguar Land Rover invests heavily in low-emission four-cylinder engines
20 Sep 2011
BRITAIN’S struggling manufacturing industry has been given a boost by the announcement of a new engine plant by Jaguar Land Rover that will directly employ 750 people.
The company will invest £355 million ($A545m) in the new engine facility to be built in South Staffordshire, near Wolverhampton in the West Midlands region, with a £10m ($A15.4m) contribution from the British government.
It will produce an all-new family of low-emission four-cylinder engines for future Jaguar and Land Rover models.
Currently, Jaguar and Land Rover use engines supplied by former owner Ford, which sold the brands to Tata in 2008.
JLR chief executive officer Ralf Speth said the design, engineering and production of advanced, highly-efficient four-cylinder engines was a major commitment for the company and part of a long-term strategy.
“As we invest £1.5 billion ($A2.3b) 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,” said Dr Speth.
“The all-new family of four-cylinder engines will increase JLR’s capability to offer high-performance engines with class-leading levels of refinement, while ensuring continued significant reductions in vehicle emissions.”
Left: Range Rover Evoque and Jaguar XF.
Executive director Mike Wright told the British media that the Indian-owned company had considered building the state-of-the-art facility in a number of locations both within the UK and outside the UK.
“One obvious location would have been India,” said Mr Wright.
“There are a whole host of factors that go into these decisions … but on the balance of all those factors we determined, with the support of Tata Motors, in this instance the UK was the best option.
“The constructive and collaborative support we have received from the government, our trade union colleagues, local authorities, local MPs and of course our employees has been crucial in enabling us to reach this very significant decision.”
The announcement of the new engine plant was made at JLR’s vehicle production plant at nearby Solihull and was attended by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and business minister Vince Cable.
Mr Cable said: “JLR choosing Wolverhampton for its new plant in the face of tough international competition is a tremendous boost for manufacturing in the UK and the West Midlands in particular”.
In addition to creating 750 new jobs, the new engine plant is expected to generate thousands more jobs in the supply chain across the wider UK economy.
JLR already employs more than 19,000 people directly in the UK and supports up to 140,000 jobs in total through the supply chain, dealer network and wider economy.
The company claims it is benefitting from its strongest ever product line-up, further strengthened recently by the launch of the Range Rover Evoque, the new Jaguar XF with a four-cylinder turbodiesel engine and significant enhancements to the XK range, Land Rover Discovery, Defender and Range Rover.
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