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Land Rover’s Solihull plant recorded another significant milestone in its 70 year history as it welcomed the Jaguar brand to the site for the first time. The West Midlands based plant recently marked the beginning of production of the new Jaguar XE with the official opening of its £500m (RM2.72b) ‘factory within a factory’.

Welcoming the XE to its famous home is the latest in a string of developments which have seen the Land Rover site undergo a huge transformation in just five years. In this short time, Solihull production has almost trebled and the workforce has doubled. It currently operates three-shift 24-hour production. The just-opened body shop and trim and final facilities represent the largest single investment in the plant’s history.

The start of XE production is the first step in making the site a dual-branded manufacturing operation. Earlier this year, Jaguar Land Rover confirmed the upcoming Jaguar F-Pace crossover is to be built at Solihull, which currently also rolls out the Land Rover Defender, Discovery, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.

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The Jaguar XE, which represents the culmination of more than £2b (RM10.86b) of product, infrastructure and technology investment, has also given the British automotive supply chain a boost thanks to an additional £4bn (RM21.73b) worth of contracts committed to 55 UK based tier one suppliers. Together, these suppliers are providing 55% of the components to the new model.

First seen in September last year, the Jaguar XE will be taking the fight to German compact exec stalwarts BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4. It will be the first car powered by JLR’s all-new modular, turbocharged and direct-injected Ingenium engine family, the first mills being 2.0 litre four-cylinder Euro 6 diesels paired to the familiar ZF eight-speed automatic. More details here.