JAGUAR Land Rover (JLR) is stepping up investment in new models and is considering setting up new car plants overseas.
The developments follow the announcement this week of record sales and profits for the luxury car maker, driven by new models such as the Halewood-built Range Rover Evoque and current successful models like the New Freelander 2, which is also built at the Knowsley plant.
Ken Gregor, JLR’s chief financial officer, confirmed that the group, owned by Indian conglomerate Tata, will boost spending on new products to about £2bn a year, compared with its current investment of about £1.5bn a year.
Mr Gregor said: “One of the things that we are confirming in the financial year 2013 is that the level of investment will rise to about £2bn.”
The popularity of its models, particularly the “baby” Range Rover Evoque, has seen sales soar in China and JLR is currently in talks with Chinese car maker Chery about a joint manufacturing venture to build vehicles for their domestic market.
But Mr Gregor revealed the group is also considering further expansion.
He said: “We have been exploring the potential for footprint expansion in various places, South America being one of those.”
The plans are all part of the group’s overall increase in production to keep pace with demand for its diverse models range.