Jaguar Land Rover's resurgence has seen the company buying more parts from local manufacturers than in the motor industry heyday before the 80s crash.

The Gaydon-based firm is now sourcing 50 per cent of its car components from the UK supply chain, with around half of those coming from the West Midlands.

Jaguar Land Rover's director of purchasing Ian Hartnett said production increases meant the level of UK-manufactured parts for the firm's vehicles was now as high as it had been before the UK automotive industry went into decline in the 1980s.

Mr Hartnett said the firm's success - with annual worldwide sales now exceeding 400,000 - meant many international firms had invested in their UK manufacturing facilities as a result of the car-maker's success.

He highlighted a new production line being built in Bradford by US firm Borg Warner to make turbochargers for Jaguar Land Rover's new engines.

Elsewhere, seat manufacturers Johnson Controls and Lear are both moving into larger factories - Johnson Controls in Halewood and Lear in Coventry.

Lear opened its new factory in Coventry early in 2013 specifically to supply Jaguar Land Rover, with the creation of 60 jobs.

A Jaguar Land Rover spokeswoman told the Post that, as well as overseas firms expanding their existing UK operations, there were also examples of firms setting up manufacturing facilities in the UK as a result of Jaguar Land Rover’s growth.

One is French firm Plastic Omnium, which had previously supplied bumpers for the Freelander 2 model from its factory in Lyon but decided to set up an operation in Derbyshire.

She said: "We shared information with them about our cycle plans meaning they were able to look at this as more of a long-term strategic partnership and it gave them confidence.

"Rather than expand their facility in Lyon, they decided to build a facility here in the UK."

Despite the good news for the UK supply chain, Mr Hartnett also sounded a cautionary note, calling for easier access to finance and for more to be done to encourage overseas automotive manufacturers to the UK.

He said: "We need a strong UK plc to attract quality global component suppliers to the UK.

"To do this, there has to be a competitive environment for investment – and we also want UK-based suppliers to have access to finance to enable them to invest and grow."

Jaguar Land Rover's reliance on the UK automotive supply chain compares favourably to the national average of around a third of components coming from British firms.

Mr Hartnett also called for more to be done to train young people coming in to the industry, not only in engineering but also in areas such as purchasing and logistics.

He revealed he was currently trying to fill 100 vacancies in his own purchasing department.

Meanwhile, research has confirmed Jaguar Land Rover's plants are now among the most profitable in Europe.

The car-maker was ranked second in European plant capacity usage in 2013 by research firm Inovev, as a result of strong global demand for Land Rover’s SUVs and Jaguars saloons and sports cars.

Data from the French firm revealed BMW was top with its European factories running at nearly 100 per cent capacity.

JLR pipped Daimler to second spot, with utilization of more than 90 per cent, as all three manufacturers turned efficiency into profitability.

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