Thursday, 26 March 2015
JLR confirms its commitment to the UK
JaguarLandRover has reaffirmed its long-term commitment to the UK’s West Midlands, with confirmation of a £600 million investment in the region to support product creation and advanced vehicle manufacturing.
The largest single investment has been made at the company’s Castle Bromwich plant, where over £400 million has been spent in new and upgraded facilities to support the introduction of the all-new Jaguar XF.
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.
This 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 model range which 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 US 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-aluminium line-up at the Midlands plant which has committed significant investment to every stage in manufacturing process. As reported here earlier, £16 million 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 Engineering Ltd £50 million press line currently under construction, details of which have published previously.
This Aida Engineering Ltd line will feed the new £320 million body shop, the most flexible and versatile of its kind throughout JLR, capable of switching between Jaguar’s entire range of models mid-production. Finally £30 million 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 which has seen the widespread introduction of Henrob’s self-piercing rivet (SPR) technology. Last year the UK company was purchased by Atlas Copco. Expect to hear more of Henrob's activities with JLR, especially in China where the company has had an office since 2006 and now employs 50 people. The new XF has 2,800 SPRs.
The new facility highlights the agility and flexibility of JLR’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 190kg lighter than its predecessor – a car that redefined Jaguar’s design language and resulted in it becoming the most awarded Jaguar model in history.
This announcement coincides with the 600th blog from this website, highlighting its own commitment to the world’s automotive industry as a source of vital information, analysis and comment.