The expansion of Jaguar Land Rover’s engine plant on the i54 business park will see it grow to one million square feet, doubling its workforce, bosses said today – as business bosses hailed it a major shot in the arm for the region’s economy.
The Engine Manufacturing Centre, currently under construction on the business park on the border of South Staffordshire and Wolverhampton, will get an extra £150 million of investment, making it a £500m project.
The expanded Wolverhampton plant will now include an engine testing centre alongside the manufacturing and assembly halls, adding around 650 new jobs to the previous planned workforce of 750.
It builds on JLR’s record-breaking sales of nearly 360,000 cars last year.
Council bosses and business leaders today welcomed the news, expected to have huge spin-off benefits for engineering companies across the region who will supply the new factory.
Black Country Chamber of Commerce president Paul Bennett said: “This is excellent new for the Black Country.
“Not only is it great for JLR which as a company is going from strength to strength, but it is also great news for the wider supply chain.
“I think what we have to recognise is that it is really important for businesses to invest in skills and training because the wider supply chain is going to need to be able to support JLR in its growth.
“The wider supply chain can learn from JLR as much of its increased demand is around export success. That is something we need to get more of in the Black Country.” At the Geneva International Motor Show last night Jaguar Land Rover chief executive Ralf Speth said: “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.”
In addition to the engine factory, JLR says it is investing £2.75bn in creating new products to support its ambitious growth plans, with eight new or revamped models this year, including the new Jaguar F-Type sports car and the introduction of a nine-speed automatic gearbox to its Land Rovers. It said the new engineering plant was “essential” to support the company’s long-term strategic growth plans.