More investment and 700 new jobs promised at new engine facility in Wolverhampton

At a pre-Geneva motor show press conference, Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralph Speth announced that the company is to create an additional 700 jobs at its still-unopened engine facility in Wolverhampton.

Jaguar Land Rover had previously committed £350m and 750 jobs to the new plant, which is still being constructed on the i54 business park on the border between Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire.

Today’s announcement will see those numbers rise to £500m invested and almost 1500 employees by the time the factory comes on stream, most likely in 2015. The news comes just two months after JLR announced it would create an extra 800 jobs at its Solihull plant.

The new i54 plant will make engines of “up to four cylinders” and will play significant part in shedding Jaguar Land Rover’s dependence on the Ford-sourced engines it uses today.

Jaguar Land Rover’s Director of Group Sales, Phil Popham, told Autocar that the company wants “strategic control” of its powerplants, and that a new generation of petrol and diesel engines is currently being developed.

The news comes as Jaguar Land Rover enjoys a period of sustained growth. With one month remaining before the end of its financial year it has already broken its previous annual sales record, selling over 360,000 vehicles during 2012. 

Thanks in no small part to the Range Rover Evoque, its sales were up 71 per cent year on year in China, 19 per cent in the UK and 33 per cent throughout the rest of the EU.

Speth confirmed that eight new or revised models will join the model line-ups during 2013, including a diesel-electric hybrid variant of the new Range Rover.

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4 March 2013

there no mention of this on the news? Presumably it's not that important? An indian company that refused a goverment bailout from Mandleson forging ahead under it's own steam? Choosing to build work class facilities in the midlands, historically one of the automotive nerve centres for UK manufacturing (What's that?, indeed, do we still manufacture?). Providing much need employment for a willing and skilled workforce...A recent article in the Sunday Times highlighted the efficiency, dynamism and flexibility of the people building the new Evoque, so much so, some of the older workers never thought they see the day when they worked in a plant which was so busy, building such premium in demand cars. We need more news like this, much more and less bias news reportage which focuses primarily on party politics and point scoring.

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