JLR will spend £110m upgrading the Merseyside factory, which employs more than 4,000 people, ahead of production for the new Evoque which one its best-selling models. Tony McDonough reports
Jaguar Land Rover’s next generation Evoque model will be built on Merseyside, securing the future of its Halewood factory for a number of years to come.
When the new model will come into production has yet to be confirmed but JLR told LBN that it will invest £110m into the plant in readiness for the new model.
Halewood employs more than 4,000 people assembling the Evoque as well as the Discovery Sport, which itself is the fastest-selling Land Rover ever.
There is likely to be an small increase in jobs at the site in the run up to the launch although the company expects employees numbers to remain fairly static over the longer term.
The decision to invest in the future of the factory is a huge of confidence in the local workforce and in the UK against the backdrop of challenging new car sales across Europe and the country’s imminent departure from the EU.
In January Halewood saw a temporary cut in production from three shifts to two amid falling demand for new cars in the UK and mainland Europe.
Stuart Lord, plant operations director at Halewood, said: “The decision to build the next generation Evoque is a massive boost for our workforce, local community and the Merseyside region and continues the great success story of Halewood as the home of the fastest selling Land Rover of all time.”
JLR, owned by Indian industrial giant Tata, also says it will move production of its Land Rover Discovery to Slovakia from its plant at Solihull in the West Midland. However, the UK will be retooled to accommodate a new generation of electric cars.
In a statement, JLR said: “”The significant investment and technology upgrade in Solihull in order to accommodate our next-generation of flagship Land Rover models, and the refit of our Halewood plant for the next Evoque, is proof that we remain committed both to the UK and to transformation and growth.”
Last week JLR said it was producing a special edition Discovery Sport at Halewood to celebrate Land Rover’s 70th birthday. Since its launch in 2014 more than 350,000 vehicles have been sold across the world.The Discovery Sport Landmark is available in three colours: Narvik Black, Corris Grey and Yulong White, all crowned with a Carpathian Grey contrast roof.
It features a sporty and dynamic front bumper, with Graphite Atlas exterior accents and 19in Style 521 ‘Mantis’ wheels in Gloss Dark Grey. The interior features Ebony grained leather seats and an Ebony headliner, complemented by dark grey aluminium finishers around the centre stack.lerator.