The 1400-strong workforce is tasked with creating the next generation of Ingenium engines; highly efficient, ultra-low emission four-cylinder petrol and diesel units, starting with the 2.0-litre diesel, which rolls off the production line early next year, and is destined initially for the new Jaguar XE. These will be the first engines to be designed and built in-house by Land Rover since the venerable Td5 five-cylinder diesel, which ceased production at Solihull in 2007.
The facility has been under construction since June 2012, and is situated on the i54 Business park alongside the M54 near Wolverhampton. The 100,000 m2 facility, costing £500 million, houses an engine-testing centre with manufacturing and assembly halls, and meets the highest standards of sustainable production.
Awarded a rating of ‘excellent’ by BREEAM, for sustainable buildings, the facility is home to the largest rooftop solar panel installation in the UK, comprising no fewer than 21,000 individual panels. It is estimated that these panels will generate more than 30% of the plant’s energy requirements - providing the same amount of energy required to power 1,600 homes.
Operations Director at the site, Trevor Leeks, said: ‘The production of in-house engines will support the expansion of the UK supply chain providing critical mass for inward investment.’