Jaguar investment brings 1,700 jobs
Car giant Jaguar Land Rover delivered a fresh boost to the economy today by announcing another huge investment in the UK, creating 1,700 jobs.
The news was welcomed by unions and the Government, which is now seeing a run of positive developments in the drive out of recession.
JLR's plant in Solihull will benefit from the Indian-owned firm's £1.5 billion investment, bringing direct new jobs to the West Midlands as well as in service firms in other parts of the country.
The money will go towards the introduction of new technically-advanced aluminium vehicle architecture in future models.
The first new model to showcase this will be a mid-sized sports saloon car from Jaguar, to be launched in 2015.
The news is also a boost to the UK motor industry, which has been enjoying increasing sales of cars this year.
JLR chief executive Dr Ralf Speth, speaking at the Frankfurt Motor Show, said: "Today's announcement signals Jaguar Land Rover's ambitions to push the boundaries and redefine premium car ownership.
"At Jaguar Land Rover we place the customer at the heart of everything we do and the introduction of a world-class, all-new aluminium vehicle architecture means we will be more competitive, flexible and efficient delivering exciting new products for our customers around the world.
"Jaguar Land Rover is a business driven by design, technology and innovation and this investment and level of job creation is yet further evidence of our commitment to advancing the capability of the UK automotive sector and its supply chain."
The 1,700 new jobs at the Solihull site in the West Midlands will bring the total number of UK manufacturing roles announced by the firm over the last three years to almost 11,000.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Jaguar Land Rover has been experiencing great success over the last couple of years but this ground-breaking project takes Jaguar on to the next level.
"This all-aluminium architecture project typifies the type of innovative and high- value R&D that the UK excels in and Government is supporting through the automotive industrial strategy."
Len McCluskey, leader of the Unite union, said: "JLR is a great British success story, and this new investment in jobs and skills ought to maintain its global reputation for world-class vehicles.
"The UK workforce, with their skills and dedication, are at the heart of this success. This investment is their due reward and we are delighted that JLR has committed further to Britain."
JLR has three advanced manufacturing facilities in the UK - in Solihull and Castle Bromwich in the West Midlands, and Halewood on Merseyside.
The company's Solihull manufacturing facility has been home to Land Rover since production commenced in 1948 and currently builds the Defender, Discovery, All-New Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.
JLR said it will "significantly increase" spending with its supply base.
Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, said: "Jaguar Land Rover continues to be one of the region's biggest success stories and an exporter not only of its own goods, but of the West Midlands' reputation as the home of world-class automotive design and manufacturing.
"Today's news is to be hugely welcomed. The creation of 1,700 jobs to support the manufacture of its new vehicles demonstrates the company's firm commitment to the region, despite growing global competition, which will be well received by those in the local supply chain. This investment also sends a clear message to other potential investors that the West Midlands delivers the goods for growth."