AR Land Rover’s commitment to the Midlands has appeared wavering at best recently – something the carmaker hopes to improve by spending up to £400m on a new engine plant, aided by government investment via its enterprise zone scheme.
JLR’s parent company Tata has a complicated relationship with UK industry – as ongoing job cuts and closures at Tata-owned parts of what once was British Steel demonstrate.
But the same issue that has pummelled the UK steel industry – increasing focus on the emerging economies – has already delivered a welcome boost at JLR.
The firm is targeting £1bn of sales in China alone this year, and it’s this revenue that really fuels the new plant in Wolverhampton.
How long it takes before it becomes more cost-efficient to build the cars closer to their huge target market, UK enterprise zone subsidies or no, is another matter altogether though.