Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is to create 800 jobs at its Solihull plant, where it already employs 6,000 staff and currently makes its range Rover Discovery and Defender cars.
Having announced record sales in 2012, JLR said China had now become its largest market, knocking the UK into second place.
Demand from China was helping boost JLR’s workforce, the company said, many of whom would go to work on its future model programmes. JLR’s announcement came days after Honda said it was axing 800 jobs at its Swindon factory.
Business Secretary Vince Cable welcome JLR’s job boost. “The company’s investment of £2bn this year and 8,000 new jobs over the last two years shows how JLR goes from the strength to strength,” he told the BBC.
Cable said more than 200 of the 800 jobs JLR was creating were being supported by the government’s Regional Growth Fund, starting off as one-year contracts and becoming full-time posts if market conditions remained strong.
Union officials welcomed the move, highlighting Solihull’s “highly skilled workforce” who had made a “massive contribution to the company here in the UK”.
JLR recently announced a joint venture to manufacture its cars in China and said it was mulling over making vehicles in Saudi Arabia.