Jaguar Land Rover has identified a site for its first full manufacturing plant outside the UK where it will build its highly successful Freelander and Evoque models.
JLR’s intentions are still to gain the official stamp of approval from the Chinese government but, pending this, the new factory will be located just north of Shanghai.
JLR chief executive, Dr Ralph Speth, has assured that the plans are not a threat to UK jobs. “We are increasing production, not to reduce in the UK, but using the UK base to grow around the world,” he commented.
Dr Speth also said that the manufacture of those models JLR consider to be more complex, such as the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, will not take place in China. “To build the very complex products, we will always be here in the UK,” he said.
Although JLR already assembles its Freelander abroad, at a site in Pune, India and its Evoque model in other foreign locations, the Chinese factory will represent it first full manufacturing operation outside the UK.
Cars made at the new plant will be assembled from locally made parts.
In the future JLR is considering going further with foreign production. It has indictated plans to build factories in Saudi Arabia, Brazil or Russia.
News of the Chinese factory comes on the same day that JLR launched its new Range Rover in London.
To support UK manufacture of this model JLR invested £370m to upgrade its facilities in Solihull, Birmingham.
The ‘trickle down’ effects of investments from JLR in UK manufacturing are significant.
The firm now spends £800 million with British companies, supporting around 190,000 jobs in the supply chain – not only with manufacturing firms but also logistics partners such as DHL, which took on 1,200 new employees to fulfil its obligations to JLR.
The shortlist for the awards is soon to be announced – book your table now!
On the same day as our awards ceremony, TM is to host its annual Manufacturer Directors’ Conference.
To book places for both of these events contact Benn Walsh ([email protected]) on 0207 401 6033.