Jaguar Land Rover in multi-million pound UK plant modernisation

LONDON, March 20 Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:42am EDT

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - Luxury carmaker Jaguar Land Rover said on Thursday it had upgraded the production press line at one of its British plants to increase capacity in a further sign that the country's car industry is recovering following the financial crisis.

Britain's car industry has experienced a renaissance in the last year, as a more flexible workforce and state schemes to boost investment and research have helped it to recover from the 2008 economic downturn.

Jaguar Land Rover, Britain's largest car manufacturer which is owned by Indian owned parent company Tata Motors, said it had completed a 45 million pound ($75 million) high production press line at its Halewood plant in northern England, which will help it save time to stamp its steel and aluminium panels.

The 13-metre tall and over 85-metre long press will reduce the time it takes to change the die casts, moulds made from metal, from 55 minutes to 5 minutes, potentially adding hours of production per week.

Land Rover's announcement comes a day after fellow luxury brand Bentley said it would create 100 positions as it moves production of all of its parent Volkswagen's powerful W12 engines to Britain. ($1 = 0.6014 British Pounds) (Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Sarah Young)

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