BMW plans to invest £40 million (euro 61 million, $65 million) in a new rail service linking its Land Rover plant in Solihull, England, with the UK's national rail network. The 4km link will provide significant road haulage savings.
Components and modules will be brought into Solihull, near Birmingham, from sites across Europe.
Land Rover will transport vehicles direct from the factory to continental European markets through the channel tunnel, and to the USA and other markets via the port of Southampton. The link will open in 2002.
The launch of the Freelander sport-utility has led to a big increase in Land Rover production and exports. Output is expected to grow to 200,000 vehicles annually over the next few years.