Jaguar Land Rover has announced plans to create 1,700 new jobs at its plant in the UK.
The car giant’s Indian owners have pledged to invest £1.5 billion in a bid to expand its product range, and in doing so will provide a big boost to employment opportunities at its main site at Solihull in the West Midlands.
Service firms around the country are also expected to benefit, and the Government has welcomed the news as the latest positive step in Britain’ move out of recession.
Unions have welcomed the creation of jobs, and the investment is also a big boost to the UK motor industry, which has already seen increased sales this year.
The first model to be added to the maker’s range will be a Jaguar sports saloon car, scheduled to be launched in 2015.
A portion of the £1.5 billion will also be spent on introducing aluminium chassis technology across the board.
JLR chief executive Dr Ralf Speth, speaking at the Frankfurt Motor Show, said: “Today's announcement signals Jaguar Land Rover's ambitions to push the boundaries and redefine premium car ownership.
”At Jaguar Land Rover we place the customer at the heart of everything we do and the introduction of a world-class, all-new aluminium vehicle architecture means we will be more competitive, flexible and efficient delivering exciting new products for our customers around the world.
“Jaguar Land Rover is a business driven by design, technology and innovation and this investment and level of job creation is yet further evidence of our commitment to advancing the capability of the UK automotive sector and its supply chain.”
The 1,700 new jobs at the Solihull site in the West Midlands will bring the total number of UK manufacturing roles announced by the firm over the last three years to almost 11,000.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Jaguar Land Rover has been experiencing great success over the last couple of years but this ground-breaking project takes Jaguar on to the next level.
”This all-aluminium architecture project typifies the type of innovative and high- value R&D that the UK excels in and Government is supporting through the automotive industrial strategy.“
Len McCluskey, leader of the Unite union, said: ”JLR is a great British success story, and this new investment in jobs and skills ought to maintain its global reputation for world-class vehicles.
“The UK workforce, with their skills and dedication, are at the heart of this success. This investment is their due reward and we are delighted that JLR has committed further to Britain.”
JLR has three advanced manufacturing facilities in the UK - in Solihull and Castle Bromwich in the West Midlands, and Halewood on Merseyside.
The company's Solihull manufacturing facility has been home to Land Rover since production commenced in 1948 and currently builds the Defender, Discovery, All-New Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.
JLR said it will “significantly increase” spending with its supply base.