The West Midlands has enjoyed its best ever year at the Queen's Awards for Enterprise which rewards outstanding achievement by a UK business or an individual.
The region saw seven companies and a professor from Aston University pick up prizes. for international trade, innovation and enterprise promotion. The winners, which also included Jaguar Land Rover, will be able to use the Queen's Award emblem on their products for the next five years.
Dr Ralf Speth from Jaguar Land Rover said the award would give the firm a boost.
A new 'concept SUV' has been unveiled by Jaguar Land Rover at this year's New York Auto Show - featuring advance new technology such as gesture control, a 'transparent' bonnet and smart glass.
The Discover Vision Concept SUV went on the stand at the show for the first time, alongside the Jaguar C-X17 which made its market debut.
New technologies being researched include a Human Machine Interface, which involves both voice and gesture control - meaning people inside the car need only to wave their hand to open a window or close their door.
Meanwhile, the 'transparent' bonnet uses virtual imaging designed to improve off-road visibility for the Land Rover.
JLR, which has factories in South Staffordshire and in Solihull, also revealed it is working on a car which - if the driver chooses - can drive itself.
British sporting icon David Beckham has joined Jaguar as a brand ambassador. He'll be marketing the car in a series of print and TV adverts for China.
Bob Grace, Jaguar Land Rover China Managing Director, said:
"We are absolutely thrilled that David will be an ambassador for Jaguar in China. David Beckham is a Briton whose achievements mean he has global popularity and he is someone who embodies contemporary British style and sophistication.
"He is a truly modern, British individual with a genuine passion for design, innovation, performance and driving.”
David’s role will initially see him feature alongside the new Jaguar F-TYPE Coupé. The former footballer said:
"It’s an honour to support a brand with such an amazing heritage and I look forward to being part of Jaguar’s exciting future in China.”
The company said Beckham's role would see him feature in many Jaguar campaigns in the coming years including adverts for the Jaguar XJ, a saloon manufactured at the company's factory in Castle Bromwich in Solihull.
Jaguar made 40% more cars last year, at its Castle Bromwich plant, than they did in 2012.
More than 78,000 cars, including the F-type Jaguar, rolled off its production lines - Landrover production was also up by 11%.
The news comes after Derby's Toyota factory, in Burnaston, announced the biggest production increase in the whole of the UK; with production up by 60%.
Jaguar Land Rover have started phase one of a recruitment drive to employ up to 600 people at their new engine plant near Wolverhampton.
The current team working at the plant consists of 100 people including, 18 apprentices and 6 graduates.
Many of these workers are pleased they took this job opportunity at the new facility.
In the next four years Jaguar Land Rover are hoping to take on 600 people in manufacturing roles at their new plant in Staffordshire.
Trevor Leeks, the Engine Manufacturing Centre’s new Operations Director said:
Our new Engine Manufacturing Centre is a significant strand of Jaguar Land Rover’s global growth ambitions and it is critical that we have a world-class manufacturing team at the heart of our new plant.
We are entering the next phase of the programme with our small team moving onsite just last week. Today, we are starting to build our operational team for the future with the launch of our recruitment campaign.
We are looking for dedicated, committed and passionate people to join the Jaguar Land Rover team at the Engine Manufacturing Centre.
The first phase of a major recruitment drive for Jaguar Land Rover starts today. In the next four years they are hoping to take on 600 people in manufacturing roles at their new plant in Staffordshire.
The company say they hope to increase that recruitment figure to 1,400 overall, as part of a £500 million investment into the Engine Manufacturing Centre near Wolverhampton.
West Midlands based car manufacturer, Jaguar Land Rover, said today it is going to build a new factory in Brazil.Read the full story ›
The Chief Executive of Jaguar Land Rover will meet with David Cameron in Beijing today, where they will officially open JLR's training academy.
The Midlands-based carmaker is also set to announce they will sell 100,000 cars to Chinese dealerships in the next year - an increase of 25%.
Simon Cowell has said he still favours Jaguars, as the new F Type Coupe is launched at the Los Angeles Motorshow.
He explained how his father had an E-Type, and he looks forward to seeing the next generation of that in action.