At 2.6 billion GBP, Jaguar Land Rover’s full year results for the 12 month period to May 2015 and a £500 million investment in a new flagship showroom and dealership in Wolverhampton mark a remarkable turnaround in the fortunes of the iconic automotive company. The British multinational car manufacturer is now set to expand its operations into emerging markets with facilities already in China and one opening in Brazil next year.
“A turnaround for Jaguar Land Rover ”
In early 2008, the Indian conglomerate Tata Group bought JLR from Ford for £1.2 billion and in the same year made a loss of £376 million on sales of £4.45 billion. In early 2009, the UK government refused JLR’s request for urgent financial aid, resulting in plans to close one of the company’s three British plants – Halewood in Merseyside, Solihull or nearby Castle Bromwich – and putting thousands of jobs at risk.
JLR’s parent entity Tata Group decided at this crucial point that the only way out of their predicament was to increase investment instead of shutting down parts of the UK operation. Happily this decision paid off and the company, as well as the UK, has benefited greatly ever since. In the past two years, the JLR plant in Solihull has seen its staff increase by a third to 7,300 workers, while the plant in Halewood, where the best-selling Range Rover Evoque is produced, has trebled its staff to 4,500.
In March 2015, Jaguar Land Rover confirmed 600 million GBP of investment in the West Midlands region to support product creation and advanced vehicle manufacturing. The largest single investment was made at the company’s Castle Bromwich plant, where over £400 million was spent in new and upgraded facilities to support the introduction of the all-new Jaguar XF.
And in April of the same year, the company officially opened its £500 million ‘factory within a factory’ at Solihull, where production of the new Jaguar XE marks the first Jaguar model to roll off the line at the home of Land Rover.
ne of the most impressive elements of the fair’s design is the system of waterways which surrounds the exhibition grounds. “We have built a canal that is about 20 kilometres long to connect the Villoresi canal (just outside of Milan) to the Naviglio Grande, a canal that flows right through the grounds of Expo 2015. Both waterways have an aesthetic and practical function. The water coming from the canal is used to supply the fair’s cooling systems and is then directed into a new network of canals that brings the waste water all the way to the rich fields of Pavia, 30 km south of Milan, to be used for irrigation so that there will be absolutely no waste,” says Gatti.
Figures from the full year results for the 2014/15 financial year highlight the massive upturn for the company, marking a fifth successive year of solid growth. Over the past five years, JLR has doubled sales and employment, more than tripled turnover, and invested more than £10 billion in new product creation and capital expenditure. In the October 2014, the company opened its first ever overseas manufacturing facility in Changshu, China and construction of its second overseas plant, in Brazil, started in December. Signalling that the company is confident that it has finally turned the corner, JLR recently also announced plans for expansion in the UK. In the same month, Her Majesty the Queen formally opened Jaguar Land Rover’s Engine Manufacturing Centre at Wolverhampton, UK, a £500 million investment, which will employ 1,400 when operating at full capacity, with work expected to be completed within 18 months.
“The Indian conglomerate Tata Group bought JLR from Ford for 1.5 billion and in the same year made a loss of 376 billion on sales of 4.45 billion”