Jaguar Land Rover to invest another £150 mn at new engine plant

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) plans to invest another £150 million at its new engine plant in the West Midlands, that would create 700 additional jobs, JLR chief executive, Ralf Speth, said yesterday.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the Geneva Auto Show, Speth said that the company will increase its investment in the new engine factory at the i54 business park in Wolverhampton, central England from around £355 millon to £500 million, and double the workforce to nearly 1,500.

The luxury car maker is building the new plant, currently in the first phase of construction, to produce engines for Jaguars and Land Rovers, and is scheduled to open in 2014.

JLR, which produces its Land Rovers at plants in Solihull and Halewood in Merseyside and Jaguar models at Castle Bromwich, near Birmingham, now intends to make its own engines by combining the expertise of the group's engineers in India and the UK.

Warwickshire-based JLR buys engines from the Ford Motors factory in the UK. Since last year, the marquee British brand had been working with Ford to increase supplies of engines after a larger-than-expected jump in sales left it facing a shortage.

JLR's plan to set up its own engine plant is seen as a move to gain control of engine production at a time when sales have picked up in the international market, particularly China.