LONDON -- JLR is hiring 300 new employees in the U.K. to help increase testing and production as part of a wider staffing increase amid its shift to electric cars.
Among the new positions, 100 technicians will help maintain the company’s body shop at its Solihull plant in central England, following a 70-million-pound ($89 million) investment to boost Range Rover production and introduce an all-electric variant of the SUV.
The remaining 200 posts will be technicians and testing engineers based at JLR’s nearby Gaydon test facility. This group will work on the company’s next-generation electric vehicles, the company said.
JLR is rebuilding its staffing levels again following a series of job cuts as part of a cost-reduction program.
The company’s employee count dipped almost 10 percent from 39,787 on March 31, 2019, to 36,031 on March 31, 2022, as the company sought to recover from a series of losses starting in 2019.
Employee numbers have increased again to 38,379 as of March 31 this year, according to company figures.
JLR’s fortunes have rebounded this year as the company overcame a series of supply chain problems to boost deliveries of its highest-profit Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Defender models.
The Tata-owned company posted a quarterly profit before tax to the end of June of 435 million pounds ($559 million), compared with a loss of 524 million pounds the year before.
The automaker reported a free cash flow of 451 million pounds, which it said was a record for the first quarter in its financial year, which starts April 1.
JLR has refocused its attention on its large SUVs to reduce the company’s break-even point to 300,000 a year, following a ‘value over volume’ strategy taken by many premium automakers following the pandemic.
JLR sold 101,994 cars in the quarter, it said, led by the Defender.
The Range Rover was the second-best seller, followed by the Range Rover Sport.
Next year the company will begin production of a full-electric Range Rover.
Before the end of the year, JLR will give an early look at the first of three new all-electric Jaguars that will begin appearing in 2025.