Luxury car makers, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), which is part of Tata Motors, has said that it is going to invest 355 Million GBP for starting a new plant for manufacturing engines in central England. The location of this plant, for which India was also vying, was finalized after receiving appreciable governmental backing.
The government, which has shown a keen interest in supporting manufacturing in Britain, is going to provide around 10 million GBP for the plant, which is expected to create around 750 jobs. Thousands of more jobs will also be generated through ancillaries and other such industries.
JLR chose Wolverhampton as the plant location in face of severe international competition from other car manufacturers. The plant would provide great impetus to manufacturing industry in the UK, stated Vince Cable, the business secretary.
This announcement by Cable, who is a Liberal Democrat party member, coincided with his visit to JLR’s production plant near Solihul. The Liberal Democrats have been holding their annual conference at Birmingham.
Mike Wright, the executive director of Jaguar Land Rover, stated that they had discussed building this facility in a great number of locations, both within and outside the United Kingdom. India was one of the obvious options that were available to them, he said, in an interaction with journalists. According to him, there were a whole lot of factors that were discussed before arriving at the decision, but after balancing out all the factors, and with full support from Tata Motors, the current plant was decided to be set up in the UK itself.
JLR has an employee strength of more than 19,000 in Britain and indirectly supports around 140,000 jobs. The same has been boosted due to strong demand of its cars from emerging markets like Russia and China.
According to the CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, Ralf Speth, JLR is planning an investment of 1.5 million GBP every year, continuously for five years, just for new product developments. They feel that with the expansion of their range of engines, they would be able to fully realize the global potential that their Jaguar and Land Rover brands hold.
Britain, which as a nation has been over-reliant till date on financial services, is now looking towards the manufacturing sector to help in their efforts to rebalance their economy.
Though the car industry in Britain is largely owned by foreigners, it still provides employment to over 800,000 people and is responsible for more than 10 percent of the total exports done by the country.
The chosen site for the new engine plant by JLR is located in West Midlands. This is one of the regions in the UK, which has been the most affected by the recession in the country. The new plant will be manufacturing both 4-cylinder diesel and petrol engines and will also help in driving efficiencies in the other facilities of the Company in the United Kingdom.
Mike Wright states that the new engine plant is almost equidistant from its other plants in Halewood, Castle Bromwich and Solihul and this would definitely help in the efficiency aspect.
Over the next 5 years, JLR is expected to come out with at least 40 new products in line with its strategy for growth and investment. Wright adds that the convenient location of the site would accelerate the process of bringing out newer products for penetration into the yet to be explored markets.
This latest investment decision made by JLR is following a period in which there has been increased sales, demand and popularity; and the company was getting results from its business in expected lines.
The CEO, Ralf Speth, had recently said at the auto show in Frankfurt that Jaguar Land Rover was on the lookout for a local partner for its operations in China and a decision regarding the same was expected to be taken in the very near future. The Company has hopes of being able to start production in China by the end of this year.