JCB has announced the production of its 500,000th engine – enough to stretch from London to Paris. The milestone has occurred in just over 13 years since four-cylinder diesel units first began rolling off the production line in Derbyshire in November 2004.
At that early stage, JCB Power Systems employed just 64 people to produce the 10,000 engines it made in its first 12 months. Since then, the Foston-based business’s workforce has grown to almost 400 as it reached the production milestone of half a million engines.
JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said, “There have been many great achievements at JCB over the years and engine manufacturing is a truly great success story. In 2004, we relied entirely on external suppliers for our engines. Today, the JCB engine powers more than 70% of the machines that JCB makes and we sell it very successfully to other manufacturers for a wide variety of uses.
“What is more important is that we have complete control over our engine technology and production, giving us the freedom to innovate and to offer our customers engines that are clean, fuel efficient, easy to maintain, and economical. Production of half a million engines is a wonderful milestone and I congratulate the whole team for achieving such a momentous landmark.”
Production has also started this year of a brand-new fuel-efficient 3-liter JCB engine following the culmination of a £31m (US$42m) investment program, which included support of £4.5m (US$6m) from the government’s Regional Growth Fund. It is the third engine line to be launched by JCB since production first started and joins the 4.4-, 4.8- and 7.2-liter models.