Jaguar Land Rover is to expand its advanced engineering and design centre at Whitley, Coventry, doubling its footprint at the location.
The latest multi-million pound investment by Jaguar Land Rover will house highly-skilled product development engineers and support the company’s creation of high technology ultra-low emission vehicles for its customers in 180 markets around the world.
Jaguar Land Rover today announced the completion of its purchase of an additional 62 acres at Whitley, more than doubling the current 55-acre site and adding an area equivalent to the size of over 30 football pitches.
Commenting on the expansion, Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our expansion at Whitley will help ensure the sustainable growth of Jaguar Land Rover, with the development of ultra-low emission technologies. Design leadership, technical innovation and engineering excellence lie at the heart of this responsible business and we are committed to investing in the skills needed to continue this success into the future. Great people and great products are the essence of this great British company.”
Jaguar Land Rover has more than doubled its workforce in the last five years, creating 18,000 new jobs. Some 8,000 engineers and technologists are based at its two UK engineering and design centres at Gaydon and Whitley and an advanced research centre at the University of Warwick. The company supports around 210,000 additional jobs through its dealerships, suppliers and local businesses.
Jaguar Land Rover is investing more than ever before in new technologies and facilities. In the financial year to the end of March 2016 the business will spend over £3bn on product creation and capital expenditure, launching 12 major new product actions. The company’s strategy will see 50 major new and model year vehicle upgrades over the next five years. Recent examples of low emission technologies developed by Jaguar Land Rover include the company’s industry-leading expertise in aluminium and lightweight technologies; and its Ingenium engine family of high technology ultra-low emission 4-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, which will power a new generation of Jaguar Land Rover products.
Jaguar Land Rover is also investing in people, including its award-winning and well-established apprenticeship and graduate programmes, which have attracted some 2,000 people over the past four years. Almost 7,000 employees are currently undertaking academic and vocational qualifications ranging from NVQ2s to PhDs. Of those, over half are following undergraduate or postgraduate level studies. This approach also extends to the wider automotive supply chain, with Jaguar Land Rover leading a number of initiatives on wider skills development.
The announcement of Jaguar Land Rover’s Whitley expansion follows the recent unveiling of the foundation stone and the start of construction of the £150 million National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC), which will open at the University of Warwick 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. The NAIC is a partnership between the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) and UK Government’s Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE).
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman and Founder of WMG at the University of Warwick, welcomed the announcement of Jaguar Land Rover’s Whitley expansion saying: “WMG is a significant technology partner of Jaguar Land Rover and it is very clear to us that Jaguar Land Rover’s continuous investment in developing the technologies of the future outstrips others in the sector. The company’s role in developing the innovation infrastructure here will help the UK, and Jaguar Land Rover, remain at the forefront of global innovation in manufacturing and engineering for decades to come.”