Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has helped Britain clock up its best car production data in years with the luxury car maker rolling off nearly 4,50,000 vehicles of total 1.5 million produced in the country last year, the highest since 2007.
Car plants across the UK produced more than 1.5 million vehicles last year with JLR rolling off 4,49,507 vehicles from its three plants in Castle Bromwich, Halewood and Solihull in northern England.
The UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said that demand for premium brands like JLR had helped boost annual sales by an overall 1.2 per cent.
“Placed in context, a 1.2 per cent growth in UK car manufacturing in 2014 represents a very successful year,” said Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s chief executive.
“The industry has overcome various challenges, including slower than expected EU recovery and weakness in some global markets,” he added.
The popularity of premium and specialist brands around the world meant that the overall value of car exports had doubled between 2005 and 2014.
Almost four out of five new cars produced in Britain in 2014 were exported, slightly down on the previous year.
“More than 7 billion pounds of investment into UK production facilities has been announced in the past two years, and we are now seeing the effects as new models begin production â€“ with more expected in 2015.
UK car manufacturing is now more diverse than ever, with a unique combination of volume, premium and specialist brands giving our products truly global appeal,” Hawes said.
JLR has announced a series of its own investments in the last few months, including at Halewood, near Liverpool, where production of its Discovery Sport is ramping up this week.
The new model is the result of a 200-million pound investment and has led to nearly tripling of employment in recent years.
Most recently the Tata Group firm had announced 1,300 new jobs at its UK plant to build a new car model which will hit the road in 2016.
The additional workforce, intended for its Solihull plant in the West Midlands region of England, coincided with Jaguar’s entry into the sports utility vehicle (SUV) sector with theÂ all-new Jaguar F-Pace.
In 2014, Land Rover sold more Range Rovers, Range Rover Sports and Range Rover Evoques than ever before.
Jaguar sales were also up 6 per cent for the year, retailing 81,570 vehicles â€“ marking the brand’s strongest full-year performance in nearly a decade.
The luxury brands were bought over by Tata Motors from Ford back in 2008 and currently employ 30,500 UK staff.