10/09/2013 05:57 BST

Jaguar Land Rover To Create 1,700 UK Jobs In £1.5bn Sports Car Investment

A sign and emblem for Jaguar automobiles appears in front of a dealership, in Norwood, Mass., Wednesday, March 26, 2008. Ford Motor Co. is selling its storied Jaguar and Land Rover businesses to India's Tata Motors Ltd. in a deal that will net the U.S. automaker $1.7 billion, roughly a third of the price it paid for the two luxury brands. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Jaguar Land Rover, the British luxury car giant, has unveiled a £1.53 billion investment in creating a new raft of lightweight aluminium sports and cross-over cars for the mass market, which will also create 1,700 jobs in the UK.

The new spending comes as the car manufacturer aims to expand its customer base by producing a more affordable range of luxury vehicles, with the first new model, a mid-sized Jaguar sports saloon car, set for launch in 2015.

JLR chief executive Dr Ralf Speth, speaking at the Frankfurt Motor Show, said: "Today's announcement signals Jaguar Land Rover's ambitions to push the boundaries and redefine premium car ownership.

"At Jaguar Land Rover we place the customer at the heart of everything we do and the introduction of a world-class, all-new aluminium vehicle architecture means we will be more competitive, flexible and efficient delivering exciting new products for our customers around the world.

"Jaguar Land Rover is a business driven by design, technology and innovation and this investment and level of job creation is yet further evidence of our commitment to advancing the capability of the UK automotive sector and its supply chain."

The 1,700 new jobs at the Solihull site in the West Midlands will bring the total number of UK manufacturing roles announced by the firm over the last three years to almost 11,000.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Jaguar Land Rover has been experiencing great success over the last couple of years but this ground-breaking project takes Jaguar on to the next level.

"This all-aluminium architecture project typifies the type of innovative and high- value R&D that the UK excels in and Government is supporting through the automotive industrial strategy."

Len McCluskey, leader of the Unite union, said: "JLR is a great British success story, and this new investment in jobs and skills ought to maintain its global reputation for world-class vehicles.

"The UK workforce, with their skills and dedication, are at the heart of this success. This investment is their due reward and we are delighted that JLR has committed further to Britain."

JLR has three advanced manufacturing facilities in the UK - in Solihull and Castle Bromwich in the West Midlands, and Halewood on Merseyside.

The company's Solihull manufacturing facility has been home to Land Rover since production commenced in 1948 and currently builds the Defender, Discovery, All-New Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.