Land Rover has taken on an extra 200 workers in preparation for the expected demand for the Freelander in the US when it's launched in the autumn.
Should Stateside demand for the 4x4 prove buoyant the company says the increase in its workforce could top 1,000 in five years. The new jobs will be created from the transfer of workers from Land Rover's gearbox and engine operation which is to be wound down between 2003 and 2006. The remaining 300 workers there are expected to take voluntary redundancy or early retirement.
The employment boost comes after Land Rover cut 1,300 jobs at its Solihull plant.
A Land Rover spokesman said: “We are always looking to balance the workforce throughout each area of the business. Some people won't want to relocate.”
He also confirmed Land Rover was considering copying BMW and Volkswagen by allowing customers to collect their vehicle straight from the production line as a way to “enhance the customer experience at Solihull”.