Birmingham & Black Country

Jaguar F-Type: First models leave Birmingham factory

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Media captionMore than 1,000 of the new F-Types have already been sold

The first Jaguar F-Type sports cars for customers will leave the Castle Bromwich factory in Birmingham later.

Jaguar said it had been "absent for too long" from making sports cars, with the last, its E-Type, made in 1975.

The new two-seater car has resulted in contracts worth about £2.8bn being placed with companies, around 30% of those to local firms, Jaguar said.

Operations director Grant McPherson said: "They're just like driving a big go-kart. They just absolutely fly."

Jaguar Land Rover anticipates it will export more than 75% of the cars.

Mr McPherson added: "Americans are the biggest market, but the other two big markets for us are going to be the UK and the European market as well."

Chief executive of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group Jerry Blackett said the impact on the economy would be "more than just good news for Jaguar Land Rover".

He said: "The strong performance of our manufacturing sector in the West Midlands has belied the national figures for manufacturing performance elsewhere in the UK.

"The fact that this new sports car will be made in the West Midlands is great news for local suppliers as well as customers.

"The very nature of its success will help drive up the standard of local supply manufacturing, so that they are better able to deliver to customers as well."

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