800 new Jaguar Land Rover jobs
Luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover is to create 800 new UK jobs in what is a welcome boost for the car industry.
It comes as the Indian-owned, but British-based group reported record global sales, driven by a surge in the Chinese market.
The car maker said the jobs, at its Solihull plant in the West Midlands, where it has already invested £370 million, would support the introduction of new models this year.
It will be welcome news after Japanese car giant Honda said last week it will cut 800 jobs at its Swindon factory, just months after taking on hundreds of extra workers because of a predicted increase in demand.
Jaguar Land Rover said more than 200 of the new West Midlands roles would be supported by the Government's regional growth fund, which recently awarded the business £80 million.
The firm, which is part of Tata Motors, said global sales had leapt 30% in 2012, when it sold 357,773 vehicles. The group said China was now its biggest market and had seen a 70% jump in sales last year.
The car maker announced last year it would start manufacturing vehicles in China for the first time, after agreeing a £1 billion joint-venture with Chinese car maker Chery. It said Land Rover sales grew 36% globally, with the top five markets in China, the UK, US, Russia and Italy, while Jaguar sales were up 6%.
Unite's assistant general secretary, Tony Burke, said: "Following the bad news from Honda last week, these new jobs are to be welcomed. They are part of JLR's ongoing expansion.
"Although the contracts are for one year, we hope that we can convert them into well paid, permanent jobs in the future. The Evoque is a very successful export leader so there is no reason why that can't happen in the future."
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Jaguar Land Rover's creation of 800 new jobs in Solihull to support new product development is a welcome boost for the UK automotive industry. The company's investment of £2 billion this year and 8,000 new jobs over the last two years shows how JLR goes from strength to strength."