Prime Minister David Cameron has hailed Tata Motors-owned luxury carmaker Jaguar Land Rover as a "great story", saying it epitomises the resilience of Britain's economy and its technological advancements.
He also praised the 500-million-pound investment by Tata Motors in a new Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) plant in the West Midlands region.
"This is a great story of the future of Britain. We congratulate Jaguar Land Rover for the investment they are making, which epitomises what we need to happen to the British economy," Cameron said during a visit to the i54 business park on the Staffordshire-Wolverhampton boundary yesterday.
"With 85 per cent of production going overseas, everything that is being done here is what we want. This shows Britain has an amazing high-tech, advanced manufacturing future. We are very excited."
JLR unveiled the plant, the biggest automotive unit to be built in Britain in over 20 years, outside Wolverhampton yesterday with a promise to employ 1,400 workers rolling out up to 400,000 engines a year.
Mike Wright, Jaguar Land Rover's executive director, said: "This is a huge strategic stepping stone for us and consolidates our business in the UK. With 2,000 people having worked on the construction phase, this is truly a great investment in this part of the world."
The new plant is expected to begin production in January 2015 and has the capacity to produce an engine every 36 seconds. The engines are expected to be the cleanest and most fuel-efficient.
Dubbed The Engine Room by JLR, the plant will manufacture the group's first own-built engines since the turn of the century and will ensure that all Jaguars, Land Rovers and Range Rovers are powered by British-built engines.
The engines will go into the Range Rover Evoque and the Land Rover Freelander when they are upgraded from mid-2015.
The Evoque alone would account for more than 100,000 engines a year.
India's top vehicle group Tata Motors acquired JLR in 2008 from Ford for around 1.15 billion pounds at the height of the global financial crisis.
It has since then invested heavily in new models and research and overseen a major turnaround in the British luxury carmaker's fortunes.