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Jaguar Land Rover says supply contracts for its new Range Rover will lead to the creation of thousands of UK jobs.

It has awarded £2bn worth of parts contracts for the Range Rover Evoque to more than 40 companies in the country, following a global competitive tendering exercise.

The company sees it as a vote of confidence in the UK’s automotive supply industry.

The announcement coincided with a visit by the Business Secretary Vince Cable to Jaguar Land Rover’s Halewood plant on Merseyside.

There he met some of the 500 new apprentices who will help build the Evoque, supported in 2009 by a government grant of £26m. One thousand other apprentices have been recruited.

The new evoque aims to shatter the Range Rover’s reputation as a gas guzzler

Dr Cable said: “Jaguar Land Rover’s news… shows that the UK automotive supply chain is capable of winning major contracts and creating vital jobs in the UK.”

It demonstrated, according to Jaguar Land Rover’s CEO Dr Ralf Speth, that “Jaguar Land Rover is a key player within the UK economy.

“We are the largest investor in automotive research and development and engineering in this country and as today’s announcement shows, we generate billions of pounds of economic activity here every year.”

Among the companies supporting the launch of the Evoque include International Automotive Components, Johnson Controls and Magna International on Merseyside.

The 2.2-litre evoque, which is due to launch in the summer, can achieve 50 miles-per-gallon, Land Rover claims.

Its handling benchmark was set against the Mini Cooper and Audi TT and it already has an interest list of more than 100,000 potential customers.