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Jaguar Land Rover Creates Jobs As Sales Surge

Jaguar Land Rover is to create 800 new UK jobs in what the Government has described as "a welcome boost" for the car industry.

It comes as the Indian-owned but British-based car maker reported record global sales, and follows news last week that Japanese car maker Honda is to slash 800 jobs at its Swindon factory.

Jaguar Land Rover said the jobs, at its Solihull plant in the West Midlands, where it has already invested £370m, would support the introduction of new models this year.

More than 200 of the new West Midlands roles would be supported by the Government's regional growth fund, which recently awarded the business £8m, the car maker said.

Jaguar Land Rover said global sales had leapt 30% in 2012, when it sold 357,773 vehicles.

The group said China was now its biggest market and had seen a 70% jump in sales last year.

The car maker announced last year it would start manufacturing vehicles in China for the first time, after agreeing a £1bn joint-venture with Chinese car maker Chery.

It said Land Rover sales grew 36% globally, with the top five markets in China, the UK, US, Russia and Italy, while Jaguar sales were up 6%.

Jaguar Land Rover has taken on 8,000 people in the last two years, and now employs 25,000 people around the world.

Production started at Jaguar Land Rover's Solihull plant in 1948. The site covers 300 acres where the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Land Rover Defender and Discovery are all made.

Tata bought the group from Ford in 2008, in a £1.1bn deal.

Responding to the announcement, Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Jaguar Land Rover's creation of 800 new jobs in Solihull to support new product development is a welcome boost for the UK automotive industry.

"The company's investment of £2bn this year and 8,000 new jobs over the last two years shows how JLR goes from strength to strength.

"With support from the Government's Regional Growth Fund, it's a clear demonstration of where the Government working in partnership with the private sector can make a real difference to the UK economy."

Unite 's assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: "Although the contracts are for one year, we hope that we can convert them into well paid, permanent jobs in the future.

"The Evoque is a very successful export leader so there is no reason why that can't happen in the future.

"The workforce at Solihull are highly skilled and have made a massive contribution to the success of the company here in the UK."