Jaguar Land Rover to invest £600m in West Midlands
The firm is investing in the National Automotive Innovation Centre.
Amongst the most notable investments at the Castle Bromwich site, in support of the all-new XF, is a £320m state-of-the art aluminium body shop which completes the site's transformation into a global centre of excellence for lightweight vehicle manufacturing.
his is the largest single investment in the history of the Castle Bromwich site and highlights a remarkable turnaround in the fortunes of the company's West Midlands manufacturing operations which were earmarked for consolidation during the height of the global economic downturn.
Today, sales of Jaguar cars built at the Castle Bromwich plant are almost double that of five years ago thanks to a refreshed and exhilarating model range which also includes the XJ and F-Type.
These models together have seen the iconic motoring marque rank as the highest achieving automotive luxury brand in the United States for customer satisfaction and second amongst all automotive nameplates in the J.D. Power 2014 Initial Quality Study (IQS) and Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.
The introduction of the all-new XF completes an all-aluminum line-up at the Midlands plant which has committed significant investment to every stage of the manufacturing process. £16m has been spent on a new blanker line which will allow the plant to turn coils of aluminium into 'blank sheets' that will be pressed into body panels and parts on a new Aida £50m press line which is currently under construction.
This line will feed in to the new £320m body shop, the most flexible and versatile of its kind throughout Jaguar Land Rover, capable of switching between Jaguar's entire range of models mid-production. Finally £30m has been invested in significantly upgrading the trim and final assembly hall.
The company's latest infrastructure investment at Castle Bromwich builds on the plants pioneering lightweight vehicle manufacturing expertise, honed over decades, and demonstrates the inherent agility and flexibility of Jaguar Land Rover's manufacturing operations as it continues to maximise the opportunities afforded by investment in a modular, scalable aluminium architecture.
The application of this industry leading technology as resulted in the all-new XF being 80kg lighter than its nearest competitor and 190kgs* lighter than its predecessor - a car that redefined Jaguar's design language and resulted in it becoming the most awarded Jaguar model in history.
In addition to the Castle Bromwich, Jaguar Land Rover has also confirmed this week that it will double the operational footprint of its Advanced Design and Engineering Centre in Whitley, Coventry.
This multi-million pound investment will house highly-skilled product development engineers and will support the company's creation of high technology, ultra- low emission vehicles.
To keep the UK and Jaguar Land Rover at the forefront of global innovation, the firm is also investing in the £150 million National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) which will open in Spring 2017, providing a state-of-the-art technology hub for Jaguar Land Rover's advanced research team and collaborative partners from the supply chain and academia. ■