Funding boost for Jaguar Land Rover

The future of the Jaguar Land Rover vehicle company became more secure today when the manufacturer's Indian owners secured a £175 million private sector funding deal.

It means that JLR, which has been months in negotiations with the UK Government over possible funding, will not now need any state money.

The deal was immediately welcomed by Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, who said it was a "good and encouraging outcome" for JLR and its workforce.

Tata Motors of India bought JLR from Ford last year and first approached the Government for funding last September.

The Jaguar XF, XJ and XK models are manufactured at JLR's Castle Bromwich plant in Birmingham, while the Jaguar X-type is currently produced alongside the Land Rover Freelander 2 at the Halewood plant in Liverpool until the end of 2009.

Land Rover's Defender, Discovery 3, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover models are all built at the Solihull plant.

JLR employs nearly 15,000 people, most of whom work in the UK, including around 3,500 engineers at two product development centres at Whitley in Coventry and Gaydon in Warwickshire.

Lord Mandelson said today: "The fact that the banks and commercial capital markets are meeting JLR's funding is a clear sign of confidence in the company, its products and the automotive sector.

"This additional funding will allow JLR to invest in future models and successfully launch the new XJ saloon on schedule and updated Land Rover models later this year."

He went on: "The Government had offered bridging finance from the automotive assistance programme if necessary. We understand the Tata group will now be successful in resolving longer-term financial needs but we are willing to help again if necessary.

"This is a good and encouraging outcome for JLR, its workforce and its supply chain."

News of the JLR finance deal came a short time before the Serious Fraud Office announced it would not be starting a criminal investigation into the collapse of car maker MG Rover.