Page last updated at 20:27 GMT, Friday, 28 May 2010 21:27 UK

Jaguar West Midlands plant closure 'not shelved'

Jaguar Land Rover
The firm made a profit in the year to March

Jaguar Land Rover has denied reports it may shelve plans to close a plant in the West Midlands despite saying it will hire 1,000 more UK workers.

The company announced last September that its factory in Castle Bromwich or Solihull would close within 10 years.

A spokesman for the firm told the BBC that an official announcement on its future would be made in the summer.

The chief executive said more staff would be needed though for its new Range Rover models due out in 2011.

"In the current climate volume is up so we have taken a few hundred people on board.

Merseyside boost

"With the addition of a new product, particularly a new smaller Range Rover due out next year, we will have to take possibly more than 1,000 people on," chief executive officer Carl-Peter Forster added.

Some reports had claimed that improving conditions for the car maker had resulted in a closure rethink.

But a company spokesman said this was categorically denied.

Many of the predicted 1,000 jobs will go to the Halewood plant in Merseyside, the BBC understands.

Profits at Jaguar Land Rover rose to £32m in the year to 31 March, with Jaguar sales in China up 38%, helped by a weak pound.

The company, owned by Tata Motors of India, made a loss of £281m in the preceding 10 months.

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