BOROUGH-based Land Rover (JLR) has confirmed that it is to invest £355 million in a new factory in Staffordshire, to produce a new generation of low emission petrol and diesel engines.
The announcement was marked by a visit to the company’s Solihull plant by Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg MP, and the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable.
The new engine factory will be built at i54 South Staffordshire, a business park near Wolverhampton.
Dr Ralf Speth, chief executive officer, JLR, 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.
“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 4 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.”
Mike Wright, executive director, JLR, said: “I would like to pay tribute to the strong support we have received for this project from our key partners. 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 engine manufacturing facility is expected to create up to 750 highly-skilled engineering and manufacturing posts at JLR, along with thousands more highly-skilled manufacturing jobs in the supply chain, and the wider UK economy.
Mr Clegg said: “It means over 700 new jobs for local people, an investment of over £300 million in the West Midlands, and recognition of the expertise in the British workforce and manufacturing sector.”
The news was also welcomed by Solihull Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt, who said: “This is fantastic news for the West Midlands, and for the wider economy. Our region suffered terribly during the recession, but investment such as this will ensure that our economy continues to head in the right direction.”