Jaguar land Rover returns a profit in excess of £1bn - and will build an engine plant in India

Jaguar Land Rover, fresh from announcing the biggest-ever profit in British automotive history, is working on plans for an all-new, £400 million engine plant in India, authoritative Indian sources have told Autocar India.

The plant will be “a carbon copy” of a facility JLR has already announced for a site in the Midlands, believed to be Wolverhampton. The new Indian engine plant, tipped to be located near Pune where Tata’s has existing facilities, and where JLR recently announced a Land Rover assembly operation, will make engines for four-cylinder models. The engines will be modular in design and up to 2.0 litres in capacity, the sources say.

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The move reflects JLR’s intention to replace as quickly as possible the relatively expensive four-cylinder diesel and petrol engines it currently buys from Ford, a legacy of Ford’s ownership of Jaguar Land Rover between 2000 to 2008. It is understood Jaguar’s V6s and V8s, both diesel and petrol, will continue to be made by Ford in Bridgend and Dagenham, at least for the time being. Work on the new Indian engine plant won’t commence until the Midlands plant is well under way, sources say, but when the pair are in full swing, engine capacity could reach 500,000 units a year, enough to supply the Chinese assembly operation the company is understoof to have under consideration.

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JLR has announced after-tax earnings of £1.043 billion for the recent financial year, easily beating the £300 million figure believed to be its previous record, posted in the 2007, the last full year under Ford.

JLR announced profits of £734 million for the first three quarters of 2010, and has continued growing strongly. Vehicle sales in China and India have rocketed by 33 per cent and 61 per cent respectively.

Steve Cropley

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