Jaguar Land Rover has been backed to drive the West Midlands car industry into a new dawn after a triple awards success.
The Auto Express New Car Awards saw the Land Rover Discovery named the Best Large SUV for a record eighth consecutive year, with the Range Rover Evoque winning Best Compact SUV.
Meanwhile, the Jaguar C-X16 concept car, which will pave the way for the new Jaguar F-Type, won the Auto Express Design Award.
Auto Express editor-in-chief Steve Fowler paid glowing tribute to the successes of both Jaguar Land Rover and MG Motor UK – and heralded a new chapter in the lengthy history of the West Midlands car industry.
“With all the work that is being done at Jaguar Land Rover, the company is expanding at a massive rate. The most important thing is that it is building cars that people want to buy all over the world – China and the US are massive markets for Land Rover in particular,” he said.
“The Discovery was launched in 2005 and it just keeps on getting better and better.’’
These are influential awards with Auto Express the UK’s biggest-selling weekly motoring magazine.
“The Evoque was our Car of the Year last year and has now won Best Compact SUV,’’ Mr Fowler said.
“Jaguar Land Rover, with the exception of Halewood, is based in the West Midlands and I think this shows that the West Midlands is still the industrial heartland of the UK, although it has stiff competition from the likes of Nissan in the North East.’’
Mr Fowler also hailed the work by Chinese group Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, which launched production of the MG6 last year and has created around 400 new jobs at Longbridge.
Last month JLR revealed record annual profits of £1.5 billion, one of the largest ever recorded by a Midland firm.
JLR sold 314,433 cars last year, the highest ever, representing a growth of 29.1 per cent. The company turned over £13.5 billion.