Mumbai, March 5: Buoyed by increased demand for its products from key markets such as China, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the arm of Tata Motors, is raising its investment at its engine manufacturing centre in the UK by £145 million and doubling the headcount there to 1,400.
JLR today said that the investment in the upcoming Wolverhampton facility at the UK Midlands will rise to £500 million in a reinforcement of its manufacturing plans in that country. In 2011, the company had announced an investment outlay of £355 million for setting up the engine plant.
This increased spend will almost double the number of highly skilled engineering and manufacturing jobs at the plant, taking the total number of people who will be employed at the site to almost 1,400.
JLR, which sources engines from Ford, said it would invest £2.75 billion in product creation to support its ambitious growth plans that would see the business introduce eight new or refreshed products during the year.
Tata Motors had acquired JLR from Ford Motor Company in 2008 and since then the acquisition has yielded rich dividends for the Indian firm. JLR has led the company’s growth at a time the domestic auto market continues to witness various challenges.
The increased investment plans were announced by Ralph Speth, chief executive officer of JLR, at the Geneva International Motor Show. According to the premium car maker, the new engine manufacturing centre in the UK is essential to support the company’s long-term strategic growth plans and will be the home for a new generation of technologically advanced, lightweight 4-cylinder low emission diesel and petrol engines.
“Jaguar Land Rover’s new engine manufacturing centre in the UK is a clear demonstration of our business strategy guiding our investment plans. Not only does it bring our engine supply back to our production doorstep, but it gives us significant new resource as we continue to innovate with new products and markets,” Speth added.
The facility is the first in the company’s history to be entirely designed and specified by JLR. It will include an engine testing centre alongside the manufacturing and assembly halls.
The new engine manufacturing centre will open later this year with the first engines coming off the production line in 2015. The extension of the unit comes as the group is hatching ambitious plans to lift production in India, build new plants in China and Saudi Arabia and look to begin manufacturing in Brazil.
According to the company, the facility will also strengthen and expand its engine range supporting future product development plans. It will enable the company to deliver high performance engines with class-leading levels of refinement and significant reductions in vehicle emissions, allowing it to compete even more effectively and attract new customers globally.
These products include the Jaguar F-TYPE and the introduction of the world’s first nine-speed gearbox in its Land Rover product line-up.