Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed that it is creating a new car plant and creating up to 750 jobs at its new factory near Wolverhampton. The luxury car manufacturer is owned by Indian firm Tata and is investing £355 million in order to build low-emission engines. The site near the M54 is in a business park and is 120 hectares.
A Warm Welcome For More Jobs
The government and unions have welcomed the information. Unions had protested cuts and job losses at the firm two years ago. Even the chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, Dr. Ralf Speth, called it “exciting news”.
He expected up to 750 highly skilled engineering and manufacturing jobs, along with hundreds of other highly skilled manufacturing jobs in the supply chain area of the company and more jobs in the wider UK economy as a result. The plan is to invest £1.5 billion per year for the next five years into new product developments and expansion of the engine range.
New four cylinder engines are being worked on, which Dr. Speth believes will increase the capacity of the company to offer high-performance engines, which will reduce vehicle emissions as well. While the company is not releasing technical details, there will be both petrol and diesel fuel versions.
Investment In the Future
Work will begin on the Staffordshire-Wolverhampton border location of the site in early 2012. Currently, engines from Jaguar Land Rover are supplied by Ford, using plants in Bridgend and Dagenham. The government is supporting £10 million worth of investment through the Grant for Business Investment scheme.
Business secretary, Vince Cable said the plan was “a huge vote of confidence in our successful automotive sector in the UK and the skills and expertise in our workforce,” and said the government’s support showed commitment to the success of both the manufacturing and automotive industries in the UK.
The company has experienced pre-tax profits of £1.1 billion in the year to 31 March, higher than last year’s £14.6 million profits. Revenues also increased by 51%, at £9.9 billion for this year. This is a long way from where the plant was two years ago and is a fulfilment of promises made then.
Staffordshire County Council, South Staffordshire Council, and Wolverhampton City Council had attempted to attract the company to the site’s location, and said the councils would continue to plan investments in the area. Last week it was revealed that unemployment figures are extremely high, making this welcome news for residents, who will be able to apply for the new jobs.