JLR is spending £110m upgrading its Halewood factory, where more than 4,000 people are employed, to assemble the next generation of the vehicle that has proved a worldwide hit. Tony McDonough reports
Carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has unveiled the next generation Range Rover Evoque – a vehicles that will be assembled by thousands of workers at its factory in Merseyside.
Originally launched in 2010, the Evoque has accounted for one in four Land Rover sales over the last eight years and has become global success with 80% of the cars being shipped to overseas buyers.
Now JLR has has is investing £1bn in the new model including a pledge to spend £110m at Halewood to prepare the plant for production of the new Evoque. More than 4,000 people are employed at the site which also assembles the Discovery Sport.
The company, owned by Indian industrial giant Tata, says the new vehicle is a “technology revolution”. It adds that its “compact footprint”, at just 4.37m long, will make the Evoque the g”o-to luxury city SUV”.
It joins the Range Rover family with a choice of petrol, diesel and hybrid electric engines, enabled by the all-new Premium Transverse Architecture. From 2020, every new Jaguar and Land Rover will have the option of electrification.
And, in a first for the compact luxury SUV segment, the Range Rover Evoque will be electrified with a 48-volt mild hybrid system from launch. It will also be available with a line-up of efficient four cylinder diesel and petrol engines and, 12 months later, a three cylinder plug-in hybrid engine.
Ralf Speth, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, said: “In excess of £4bn contracts have been placed with UK companies to support production of the new Evoque, testament to Jaguar Land Rover’s continued confidence in the competitiveness of its domestic suppliers.
“The company’s £1bn investment in the new Evoque covers research, development, design, advanced technology engineering and manufacturing.”
Enhancements to develop state-of-the-art flexible manufacturing for the new Evoque at Halewood comprise a new stamping line and hybrid-electric assembly technology, alongside significant extensions and upgrades to existing facilities.
Production overseas will meet local market demand for the latest addition to the Range Rover line-up.
Range of innovations
Land Rover has pioneered all-terrain technologies over the past 70 years and the new Evoque launches with a a range of innovations, such as ClearSight Ground View and ClearSight Rear View.
ClearSight Ground View – the realisation of Land Rover’s transparent bonnet concept previewed on the Discovery Vision concept – is a world first. Cameras in the front grille and on the door mirrors project a feed onto the central touchscreen to show what is ahead of and underneath the front of the vehicle with a virtual 180-degree view.
ClearSight Rear View is another advanced technology and a first in the segment. The smart rear-view mirror transforms into a high-definition screen at the touch of a button, by displaying a rear-facing camera feed onto the mirror, the driver’s view remains unrestricted by passengers or large items in the back.
Order books for the new Range Rover Evoque open on November 22 with first deliveries to customers in UK, Europe and US beginning in the first months of 2019.