Jaguar Land Rover posts record car sales figures
Car maker Jaguar Land Rover has posted record sales for 2013 with 425,000 cars sold worldwide.
This was up almost a fifth for the company, which has plants in the West Midlands and Merseyside.
The US, Germany and India are now the Indian-owned manufacturer's fastest growing markets.
The figures came amid a resurgence in the wider vehicle market as the economy recovers both in the UK and in many key markets overseas.
The Land Rover brand sold 350,000 vehicles worldwide last year, accounting for over 80% of Jaguar Land Rover's total sales.Staff increase
Jaguar itself saw sales volumes increase by 42% in 2013 as customers in the US, India and Germany bought its luxury cars.
Jaguar Land Rover is hiring nearly 2,000 extra people to meet demand, bringing its total staff in the UK to more than 26,000.
US driver's F-type 'delight'
I bought a Jaguar F-type V8S in July 2013 and have been absolutely delighted with the car - its looks, build quality, performance and, of course, the sound of the engine.
I grew up in 1960s Britain and like most other boys living through that period I thought that Jaguars were cars to be admired.
Over the past 10 to 15 year I have been able to purchase nice cars, I never gave the Jaguar brand any consideration. Their reputation for poor quality lingered in my mind and I much preferred German car designs.
All of that changed when I drove the Jaguar F-type.
Ronnie Farquar, Massachusetts
"Jaguar Land Rover is a remarkable manufacturing success story," the Unite union's assistant general secretary Tony Burke said.
"The company faced serious problems prior to 2008 but our members in Unite and the company worked together to turn JLR's fortunes around. The manufacturer's fantastic performance is testament to the workforce."
Last week, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said car sales in Britain were at their highest since 2007 thanks to a recovering economy, cheap financing packages and repayments of mis-sold payment protection insurance.
Among the firms benefitting from the global turnaround is Volkswagen, which announced last week that its luxury brands - Porsche, Audi and Bentley - had achieved record sales in 2013, aided by demand for high-end cars in emerging markets such as China and India.
BBC business correspondent Joe Lynam said Jaguar Land Rover had seen a remarkable turnaround in its fortunes.
At the height of the recession, the company's Indian owners asked for financial support from the British government.