Car maker 'to create 2,000 jobs'
Resurgent car maker Jaguar Land Rover is poised to confirm this week that it will build a £400 million engine plant in the Midlands that will create up to 2,000 jobs, according to reports.
JLR could announce the engine plant as early as Monday alongside Business Secretary Vince Cable after securing financial support from the Government, according to the Sunday Telegraph.
The move would come as a boost to the Government's plans to increase growth through rebalancing the economy towards manufacturing.
The coalition Government, which has identified the car industry as "crucial" to its recovery plans, has offered around £10 million of support for the JLR plant, the newspaper said, although it is not clear what form this will take.
The plant will be based at the i54 business park in Wolverhampton, which has been made an enterprise zone. It is likely to take around two years to build and could eventually employ up to 2,000 workers, according to a source close to the negotiations.
JLR has enjoyed a dramatic turnaround in fortunes in recent years boosted by strong demand by emerging markets such as China and Russia.
The company reported pre-tax profits of £1.1 billion in the year to March 31, up from £14.6 million the previous year. Revenues increased 51% to £9.9 billion.
Tata Motors, controlled by billionaire Ratan Tata, bought the company from Ford for £1.5 billion in June 2008 but soon after the acquisition the global car market went into reverse, pushing the company into a loss and it said it was considering closing one of its production plants in the West Midlands in a bid to cut costs.
As the car market began to recover, the management last year performed a U-turn and said all three plants - at Castle Bromwich and Solihull in the West Midlands and Halewood on Merseyside - would stay open.
The company has already hired 3,000 staff this year, including a record 350 graduates, and now employs almost 21,000 people in the UK.