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Rover creates 800 jobs at Cowley

ROVER IS to create an extra 800 jobs at its Cowley plant in Oxford to cope with production of its new executive saloon, the Rover 75, which goes on sale next month.

Output of the car, the first all-Rover model the company has developed in 25 years, is set to rise from 1,660 a week in July to 2,800 cars a week by the end of the year.

The increase in jobs, will take the Cowley workforce to 2,700. The jobs are to be filled by workers from Rover's other UK plants, with the bulk coming from Longbridge.

Rover hopes to produce around 135,000 units of the new car next year, with about 70 per cent of production exported. Total investment in the new model, including new body-building, paint and final assembly lines at Cowley is pounds 700m, making it the biggest single investment since BMW bought Rover in 1994. The car will cost between pounds 19,530 and pounds 26,630 and, although it has been voted What Car? Car of the Year it has been criticised for being too expensive.