Jaguar XE production will move from the firm's Solihull plant to its Castle Bromwich facility as a result of booming sales.
Latest figures for mid-August show Jaguar sales have hit 85,726 units for the year so far, an increase of 72% on 2015. That figure is primarily driven by the launch of the Jaguar F-Pace and has been buoyed by the Jaguar XE going on sale in the US.
Production of the XE is currently split 60:40 between Solihull and Castle Bromwich, with the latter having taken on some of the production since the end of the summer shutdown. That division between the two plants will remain until around the end of the next fiscal year in April 2017, when Castle Bromwich will take on the full XE build.
The move to manufacture the XE in Castle Bromwich - which will result in £100m of investment in the plant - frees up the Solihull plant to focus on production of the F-Pace and Range Rover Sport. Both those cars and the XE are built on Jaguar's latest aluminium architecture, allowing the production line to be switched between models. The £100m will be spent on new press lines, body shops and final assembly halls. Around 3000 people are employed at Castle Bromwich, under the leadership of operations director Nicolas Guibert.
Wolfgang Stadler, Jaguar Land Rover's Executive Director of Manufacturing, said: "The significant investment to create two centres of excellence in aluminium vehicle manufacturing, utilising shared technologies, was deliberate. It gives us the flexibility to quickly respond to consumer demand for our growing range of products."
Jaguar's Castle Bromwich plant was slated for closure in 2008 when company bosses announced that they would be forced to close one of its two UK production facilities. However, company bosses eventually reversed the decision, and have invested more than £500m there over the last two years. The Jaguar XF, Jaguar F-Type and Jaguar XJ are also built at Castle Bromwich.
Jaguar Land Rover's Solihull plant will continue to operate three shifts, 24 hours a day, to keep up with global demand for the F-Pace and Range Rover Sport. It hasn't yet been decided whether Castle Bromwich will now switch from its current two-shift pattern to three.