Jaguar Land Rover plans to hire over 500 people for R&D by March 2013

Jan 29 2013, 15:38 IST
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Tata Motors-owned JLR intends to grow its team of engineers and designers to over 5,500. (Reuters) Tata Motors-owned JLR intends to grow its team of engineers and designers to over 5,500. (Reuters)
SummaryTata Motors-owned JLR intends to grow its team of engineers and designers to over 5,500.

Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover plans to hire over 500 engineers and designers by March 2013, taking the total strength of R&D people to over 5,500, to support its new product development programme.

In a filing to the US-based Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mumbai-based Tata Motors said its British subsidiary may look for possibility of assembling of more models in India in addition to the existing sports utility vehicle Freelander and luxury sedan XF.

Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has raised USD 500 million (over Rs 2,600 crore) through issue of bonds to support its operational costs and future growth plans.

"By the end of fiscal 2013, JLR intends to grow its team of engineers and designers to over 5,500, up from approximately 5,000 at present to support its product development programme," the Indian auto major said.

JLR's total employee headcount across the world has gone up by 21.24 per cent to 25,368 people as on September 30, 2012, from 20,923 people as on September 30, 2011, it added.

"JLR's employee cost increased by 38.17 to 615 million pound in the six months ended September 30, 2012, from 445.1 million pound in the equivalent period in 2011.

The increase is attributable to greater production volumes and the recruitment of new employees both in manufacturing and engineering," the company said.

The marque has recently announced to hire 800 people at Solihull plant to support the introduction of new model programmes. It has already recruited about 1,000 employees at each of its Halewood and Solihull sites and has added an additional shift at each site as well.

JLR currently operates three major production facilities – Solihull, Castle Bromwich and Halewood, employing a total of around 14,000 people as on September 30 last year, and two advanced design and engineering units, employing around 10,500 people, including the staff at its corporate headquarters at Whitley, the UK.

Last week, JLR had said it is expecting to invest around 2.75 billion pounds (over Rs 23,300 crore) in 2013-14 fiscal on development of new products, expand Chinese business and explore production bases in new markets, among others. It is looking to invest around 2 billion pounds in 2012-13.

Talking about its assembly operations at Pune, the firm said: "Freelander and XF vehicles have been assembled in a facility in India, operated by Tata Motors, since April 2011 and January 2013, respectively, with the possibility of expanding production to other models in the future."

The company, however, did not share other details such as which could be the next model and when is the assembly of that vehicle likely to start.

"JLR aims to establish new manufacturing facilities, assembly points and suppliers in selected markets. For example, JLR has established a manufacturing and assembly joint venture in China with Chery Automobile Company Ltd. JLR is also exploring assembly operations in selected other markets," it said without sharing details.

In a separate Tata Motors filing to the BSE, JLR said it has completed the transaction of issuance of USD 500 million senior notes, due for 2023, and priced them at a coupon of 5.625 per cent per annum.

"We are pleased to have completed this transaction successfully, which we believe demonstrates the confidence of the market in our company and plans," JLR Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Gregor said.

The net proceeds from the issuance and sale of the notes will be used for general corporate purposes, including to support Jaguar Land Rover's on-going growth and capital spending plans, the company said.

Shares of Tata Motors were trading 0.05 per cent down at Rs 308.40 apiece on the BSE during afternoon.

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