Skilled workers from across the UK are thought to be vying for a chance to work at the brand new £500m plant, which will start producing engines early next year for the new XE saloon.
Speaking last night, the factory's operations director, Trevor Leeks, told a Black Country meeting of the Institute of Directors, at Dudley Castle, the site would hit its target of employing nearly 1,500 people 'in the next four to five years'.
By that stage it would be producing an engine every 36 seconds, he said.
The company started recruiting for 600 manufacturing workers in January and, said Mr Leek: "Over 9,000 people have applied so far".
Currently around 200 staff are working at the site, installing new production line equipment with the aim of producing the first prototype engines in the spring.