After years of plant closures in the region’s car industry (think MG Rover, Peugeot, Jaguar at Brown’s Lane), news this week that JLR will build its new engine plant near Wolverhampton will provide a major boost. This according to the Birmingham News.
The new plant will be based at the i54 business park, in the Black Country’s new enterprise zone. As such, the new plant could well qualify for enhanced capital allowances which could see JLR getting tax breaks for big investments in plant and equipment (hats off by the way to AWM for their work in readying the site, local authorities and the Black Country LEP for pulling off Enterprise Zone status, and to the government for backing the investment).
But as well as tax breaks, the location makes a lot of sense in other ways. Just off the M54 motorway, the site is close to JLR’s assembly plants in the Midlands and on Merseyside, so means that engines can be transported quickly to JLR’s Castle Bromwich, Solihull and Halewood plants. And the region still offers a rich engineering skills base on which the new plant can draw.
The plant is likely to involve a £355 million investment, could employ as many as 750 workers, and – depending on how many components JLR sources locally – could bring more jobs and wider benefits to the region’s components industry.
JLR currently buys engines from its previous owner Ford, but with JLR production being ramped up, it has struggled to source enough engines from Ford’s UK engine plants at Dagenham and Bridgend. JLR wants more control over the supply of its engines, and has the in-house engineering skills needed to develop new engines.
Read the complete article at the Birmingham News.