Monday, September 19, 2011

Jaguar Land Rover confirms new UK plant

Jaguar Land Rover has announced plans to build a £355m engine plant in the Midlands, creating more than 2,000 jobs and pumping millions of pounds worth of business into the supply chain. 

Jaguar Land Rover's new Midlands plant could eventually employ up to 2,000 workers

JLR made the announcement alongside Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, following a Government pledge to underpin JLR's investment with a £10m support package.

The new plant will be based at the i54 business park in Wolverhampton, an enterprise zone, and will take around two years to build.

The Business Secretary said the announcement was a vote of confidence in the UK's recovery from Jaguar's owners Tata Motors.

"There was fierce competition for this engine plant. Tata could have done it in India, they could have done it in various places," Mr Cable said today.

"But they've chosen to invest in Britain and in the West Midlands, which we take as a great sign of confidence."

The facility could eventually employ up to 2,000 workers, and a further 1,200 jobs will be created in the area and associated supply chain.

As well as the jobs created at the plant, Mr Cable said there would be other opportunities created by the deal.

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"The most important way in which it can act as a catalyst for other investments is through the supply chain," he added.

"There is something in the order of 15,000 direct employees of Tata but they bring with them about 140,000 employees in the supply chain.

"What we want to see is companies that might recently have migrated out of Britain because of problems in the country in recent years coming back here and making components for these new car plants in Britain."

Today's announcement is also a significant political win for the Coalition government, which is seeking to rebalance the economy by boosting manufacturing and reducing its reliance on banking.

Mr Cable said: "One of the attractions of the West Midlands is this is the heartland of the motor industry. There's a tradition of skilled labour, which is absolutely crucial to their business and I think they are showing confidence in the fact that we've put the boat out for them, we've shown them that we want to work with them.

"They've concluded this was the best place to be."

The Business Secretary said the £10m Government grant was a show of support for the manufacturer but with £350m investment from Tata, the project did not rely on public funds.

It marks a turnaround in the fortunes of JLR since it was acquired by Tata Motors in 2008. JLR's engines are currently supplied by Ford from plants including Dagenham and Bridgend, but the car maker wants to take more control of its supply chain.

Source: The Telegraph

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