Birmingham & Black Country

Jaguar Land Rover 'to keep UK factories buzzing'

Jaguar Land Rover workers on the production line
Image caption Jaguar Land Rover's three UK factories are going to stay "buzzing", according to global director John Edwards

Carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has said its success in China will not mean more production moves overseas.

After today's announcement that 800 jobs are being created in Solihull, global brand director John Edwards said: "We're only going to build in China for the Chinese market.

"Our job is to keep our three factories in the UK buzzing."

The Gaydon-based firm has released record global sales figures for 2012, showing sales in China rose by 70%.

The firm sold 71,940 vehicles in China last year, meaning it has now overtaken the UK to become JLR's biggest market.

In November the Indian-owned company announced a deal to complete a car plant near Shanghai by 2015, allowing it to manufacture vehicles in China for the first time.

Last month it also emerged that JLR is considering building cars in Saudi Arabia.

Jaguar Land Rover recorded sales in 177 countries for 2012 and currently exports 85% of production from its factories in Birmingham, Merseyside and Coventry.

Mr Edwards added: "We're looking to build our workforce in Solihull, but it's not just about Solihull. Gaydon, Whitley and Castle Bromwich are all good places to be at the moment."

He said the manufacturer continues to have "significant growth ambitions" and is looking to expand markets in Brazil, Russia and Indonesia.

'New technologies'

"China's very important, it's the biggest car market in the world and it's our fastest growing market," Mr Edwards continued. "We grew by more than 70% in China last year.

"But it still only accounts for 20% of our volume.

Image caption Mr Edwards described JLR as a "global business"

"One of real success factors is that we're a global business.

"We export 85% of our production from the UK and we go the world over."

Rachael Eade, from the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), said people living in China Russia and India "really want to buy premier goods".

Ms Eade said: "They will still be making cars in Britain for the foreseeable future.

"Part of the reason is the overseas buyers like to be able to drive cars that are designed and made in the UK."

The news of the job creation at JLR would have a big impact on the local economy in the West Midlands, according to Ms Eade.

She said: "Every job created at Jaguar Land Rover, or any other vehicle manufacturer, equates to two or three in the supply chain.

"Smaller local companies are being encouraged to invest in new factories, new technologies and new machinery.

"MAS wants to help companies to get ready to up their speed and their ability to produce and get the goods to Jaguar Land Rover ready to build cars."

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