Jaguar Land Rover poised to boost workforce

 
Michael Bow
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LUXURY carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) could create hundreds of new jobs on Merseyside as part of its ambitious £2.7bn investment programme this year.

The company is thought to be on the verge of announcing up to 1,000 new positions at its Halewood plant in Liverpool thanks to soaring demand for its Range Rover Evoque model, which is made at the factory.

The move, first reported by the Sunday Times, could see the introduction of 40 new models by 2018. The JLR boss hopes to double car sales to 750,000 by 2015. The Halewood works currently employs about 4,500 staff.

A JLR spokeswoman said the creation of more jobs was “speculation” but did not deny the reports yesterday.

JLR, which has been boosted by increasing demand from overseas customers, outlined plans for an investment fund worth around £2.75bn over the next 12 months when it revealed a set of stellar results in May.

It released results showing record annual profits of £1.7bn for last year. Last week figures from parent firm Tata Motors showed JLR made quarterly pre-tax profits of £304m.

Any announcement on the creation of new positions is likely to be hampered by a union dispute between DHL and its workers, who work at Halewood delivering parts to the production track.

The dispute could trigger industrial action.

Halewood has seen a threefold increase in staff numbers since 2010. It was boosted by the creation of a 1,000 new posts last March.