Britain's biggest car maker Jaguar Land Rover(JLR)
London - XINHUA
Britain's biggest car maker Jaguar Land Rover(JLR) Wednesday confirmed it is to double the size of its advanced engineering and design center at its headquarters near Coventry, adding land the size of 30 football pitches to its estate.
The confirmation came after media reports trailed an expected announcement from the JLR about plans to invest almost 1.3 billion U.S. dollars in the West Midlands area of England.
The company said in a statement its latest multi-million pound investment 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.
JLR said it had completed the purchase of an additional 62 acres at Whitley, more than doubling the current 55-acre site.
Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover's CEO, said: "Our expansion 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."
The company, which already employs 4,000 engineers at its site at Coventry, has more than doubled its workforce in the last five years, creating 18,000 new jobs. The expansion in its Coventry center is expected to create a further 4,000 skilled jobs.
Around 8,000 engineers and technologists are based at its two British engineering and design centres in the West Midlands and at an advanced research center at the University of Warwick.
The company statement added: "JLR 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 4.5 billion U.S. dollars on product creation and capital expenditure, launching 12 major new product actions."
JLR says its strategy will see 50 major new and model year vehicle upgrades over the next five years. Wednesday's announcement follows the recent unveiling of the foundation stone and the start of construction of the 225 million U.S.dollars National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC), which will open at the University of Warwick in 2017, providing a state-of-the-art technology hub for JLR's advanced research team as well as for academics.