Land Rover : Evoque production starts at Halewood

The new Range Rover Evoque passed an important milestone yesterday when the first production vehicle was driven off the line at Land Rover’s Halewood manufacturing plant in Liverpool.

Jaguar Land Rover’s CEO, Ralf Speth together with JLR executive officers, union representatives and employees, gathered to celebrate the start of new Range Rover Evoque production. The first car to come off the line will be donated to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust.

‘The Evoque is an incredibly exciting vehicle that joins a product range which across both of our brands is the strongest we have ever had – and it fits in perfectly.’ commented Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer. ‘The teams that have designed engineered and built the new Evoque, working together with our research and supplier partners, can be immensely proud of their achievement. Worldwide interest in our new car has been exceptional, with 18,000 customer orders received from customers eager to be among the first to own the new Range Rover.’

Halewood Operations is central to the success of the Evoque, with the workforce doubling to more than 3,000 employees in order to deliver the new model. Seventy-five per cent of production is destined for export to more than 170 countries around the world, adding around £2 billion to the UK economy. Moreover, 50 per cent of the components in new Evoque are made in Britain, with contracts worth another £2 billion awarded to more than 40 UK supplier businesses.

The teams that have designed engineered and built the new Evoque, working together with our research and supplier partners, can be immensely proud of their achievement. Worldwide interest in our new car has been exceptional, with 18,000 customer orders received from customers eager to be among the first to own the new Range Rover.” Dr. Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer, Jaguar Land Rover

‘It is a groundbreaking product, a Range Rover with concept car looks, lightweight technologies and the capability to deliver 50mpg fuel economy. At the same time it’s still a true Range Rover that’s agile, nimble, designed to survive in the urban jungle and capable of tackling the toughest climates and terrains thanks to Land Rover’s legendary all-wheel drive expertise.’ Speth added

The launch of the Range Rover Evoque is just one of 40 new product actions that Jaguar Land Rover will carry out in the next five years in the most ambitious market offensive in the history of its two brands. This product creation programme is supported by annual investment of £1.5 billion in developing new models, engines, technologies and vehicle lines.

Currently Jaguar Land Rover directly employs almost 19,000 people in the UK, and indirectly supports up to 140,000 further jobs through its supply chain, dealer network and associated business operations. Its success is reflected in after-tax profits of £1.043 billion for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

[Source: Land Rover]

Clive Goldthorp

About the Author:

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.

28 Comments on "Land Rover : Evoque production starts at Halewood"

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  1. KeithB says:

    Well, as Tony Bliar used to say: things can only get better! This is the kind of product the UK’s Automotive Industry needs to take the fight to the Germans – high quality, high value, high margin goods. Great news!

  2. David 3500 says:

    This is fantastic news from Jaguar Land Rover. The success of the current models in the Land Rover lineup means that annual production continues to exceed 200,000 units. The Range Rover Evoque can only add further to Land Rover’s incredible success story. Well done to everyone!

  3. Mark Pitchford says:

    @KeithB
    Was the libellous political commentary relevant or necessary?

  4. Mikey C says:

    Let’s not forget how Freelander 1 paved the way for Land Rover to enter these more car orientated sectors – that was one of the crowning achievements of the Rover Group and one that gets overlooked in the adulation for R8 and the 75.

  5. Steve says:

    Mikey C :
    Let’s not forget how Freelander 1 paved the way for Land Rover to enter these more car orientated sectors – that was one of the crowning achievements of the Rover Group and one that gets overlooked in the adulation for R8 and the 75.

    Very true…

  6. Paul says:

    Halewood’s best years are ahead of it!

  7. Jonathan Carling Jonathan Carling says:

    Well done, Jaguar Land Rover. They’ve certainly expanded the model range since the British Leyland days and now BL-type production levels are in sight! (ditto the MINI).

  8. David Dawson says:

    It’s good to see production of the Evoque commence. The model may be beyond my motoring aspirations and outside my obsessive interest but I can still recognise a car which combines innovation and traditional Land Rover strengths. I reckon it’s an almost guaranteed world success.

    That’s good for my job security too – I work a mile or two from Halewood at a company which supplies Jaguar Land Rover.

  9. Jon says:

    I saw two Range Rover Evoques on the road at the weekend: a white one on the M42 on Friday evening and a green one, which was being tailgated by a Range Rover Sport, on the M5 last Sunday. Good stuff – the Evoque looks fantastic (if a little truncated) on the road.

  10. This is brilliant news for Jaguar Land Rover and the British motor industry – it’s also great for creating more jobs and improving the country’s economy.

  11. Ross A says:

    Can someone please tell me why I have been seeing an Evoque prowling Hagley Road/Bearwood High Street in Birmingham late in the evenings? It looks like it’s being driven by gentlemen of ‘dubious employment’ up to no good.

  12. Alex Scott says:

    I like the red and white one – that looks better than the MINI. Oh, and while it’s nice to see some smaller Land Rovers, how about some smaller Jaguars as well? 🙂

    Alex.

  13. KeithB says:

    @Mark Pitchford
    Good grief!! Lighten up!

  14. KeithB says:

    Mikey C :
    Let’s not forget how Freelander 1 paved the way for Land Rover to enter these more car orientated sectors – that was one of the crowning achievements of the Rover Group and one that gets overlooked in the adulation for R8 and the 75.

    I second that…

  15. KeithB says:

    David Dawson :
    It’s good to see production of the Evoque commence. The model may be beyond my motoring aspirations and outside my obsessive interest but I can still recognise a car which combines innovation and traditional Land Rover strengths. I reckon it’s an almost guaranteed world success.

    That’s good for my job security too – I work a mile or two from Halewood at a company which supplies Jaguar Land Rover.

    Designed and built in the UK – it’s not only the Automotive Industry that benefits, we all do.

  16. KeithB says:

    I reckon that, if only Tata Motors had bought into Rover twenty years ago instead of BMW, then subsequent events might have been very different – we might have had an Indian-owned Rover vs a Chinese-owned Jaguar after Ford baled out.

    That would make an interesting “What if…” story…

  17. KeithB says:

    David 3500 :
    This is fantastic news from Jaguar Land Rover. The success of the current models in the Land Rover lineup means that annual production continues to exceed 200,000 units. The Range Rover Evoque can only add further to Land Rover’s incredible success story. Well done to everyone!

    Advance orders account for nearly 10% of annual Jaguar Land Rover production!! That paves the way for even more success… Please can we have a new “Rover X-TYPE” and a Daimler to take on Maybach and Rolls-Royce?

  18. Will says:

    @KeithB

    Would Tata Motors Limited have been ready for Rover 20 years ago?

    A product of that era was the Tata TL, which looks to have been based on Daimler-Benz/Merc components (or, at least, copied).

    It is only during the recent part that the growth of India’s economy has increased the demand for motoring which has allowed Tata to grow, expand and develop.

    Perhaps more collaboration? Platform sharing? An Indica with the quality issues ironed out for a start?

    I agree that it would indeed be nice to see Rover used as a sub-Jaguar ‘mainstream’ marque (similar to the positioning of the VW brand).

    Daimler too would be a good move – especially in the likes of China where Maybach and Rolls-Royce have been making huge inroads. How about giving a new Daimler to Her Majesty as a Diamond Jubilee present to replace her stretched Phaeton?

  19. David 3500 says:

    @KeithB
    Apparently all of 2011’s production of the Range Rover Evoque has already been sold – I have read that’s 18,000 vehicles.

    I definitely support your suggestion for a Compact Executive class Rover range and also bringing back Daimler to compete above and beyond the current Jaguar XJ range.

    Hopefully, though, a new Daimler would have its own distinctive body and styling i.e. a luxury saloon sitting just below the Bentley Flying Spur and flagship Mercedes Benz S-Class models in terms of price but with a more elegant, slightly understated presence.

  20. Merlin Milner says:

    It’s a shame that the Evoque only comes with leather seats – as a result it will not be on my company’s short list.

  21. Simon says:

    I reckon that, with £1 billion in profits, it would be good so see Jaguar Land Rover go straight to the heart of the German car industry and produce a true competitor to the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series.

    Jaguar Rover Triumph missed a vital opportunity in the 1970s by not developing the Triumph Dolomite and this is where Jaguar Land Rover need to be. The car needs to be sporty, dynamic, rear drive and offer a coupe and converible but with a British twist.

    However, as BMW own the Triumph name, that can’t be used and I fear that the Rover name is now too damaged to be used for this vital car capable of 200,000 sales per year. It will have to be Jaguar but with a real sports feel unlike the compromised X-TYPE which didn’t quite hit the spot.

    A soft roader like an upmarket Qashqai could be developed as a Rover though – a bit like the TCV – and, as others have said, an S-Class competitor using the Daimler brand.

    Anyway, at least there’s some good news in these depressing times at last.

  22. Ayd says:

    I saw the Evoque at Goodwood – it looks even better in the metal.

  23. KeithB says:

    @Will
    I think Tata Motors may well have been developed enough to take on Rover although one concern might be that they may have been “tainted” by some of Rover’s bad practices.

    The advantage, as I see it, is that Rover would have had more input into the type of vehicle they wanted and not been restricted as to what and where they could sell. Honda did not want too much competition (600 vs Accord) and neither did BMW (Z3 vs MG in the USA). Imagine if the MGF had been launched Stateside together with another model along the lines of the RV8/Stag…

    The downside is that I don’t think we would have had the latest Land Rover products in the mix and the Freelander/Evoque would not be sitting on Ford platforms driven by Ford engines.

  24. DaveH says:

    I think it’s amazing how Halewood has risen from being the laughing stock of Ford of Europe! I guess it just shows how a difference in management can change things.

    I agree that the X-TYPE needs to be replaced – preferably by something which is a swoopier version of XF and without the big blandness of the XJ. A hand-built, rebodied XJ branded Daimler would also be good as a halo model.

    I also think that Jaguar need a proper two-seater sports car and not the compromise that is the XK (which is a great car). Oh, and I know I will get moaned at about this, but they also need to have estate/tourers in the range to take the Germans on in all corners

  25. David Dawson says:

    I was alongside a white 5Dr Evoque in traffic today. I was impressed as it drove away. I thought that, whilst different, the rear still had a definite Range Rover feel.

    Actually, as I pulled up to the Mersey Tunnel toll, I realised just how many Land Rover products there are on the road – I spotted four in one hundred yards.

  26. pigeons99 Pigeons99 says:

    I was at Gaydon on the 8th July and a white one drove past at pace – it looked rather nice from what I recall of it.

  27. Andrew Elphick says:

    The Evoque seems to be a colour-sensitive car – the Olive Green five-door on the stand at the Geneva Motor Show looked fabulous, as did the Silver three-door on Top Gear recently. However, has anyone seen one without the luxury interior package yet?

  28. Henocsr says:

    DaveH :
    I think it’s amazing how Halewood has risen from being the laughing stock of Ford of Europe! I guess it just shows how a difference in management can change things.

    I agree that the X-TYPE needs to be replaced – preferably by something which is a swoopier version of XF and without the big blandness of the XJ. A hand-built, rebodied XJ branded Daimler would also be good as a halo model.

    I also think that Jaguar need a proper two-seater sports car and not the compromise that is the XK (which is a great car). Oh, and I know I will get moaned at about this, but they also need to have estate/tourers in the range to take the Germans on in all corners

    The XF Estate/Tourer has been built and tested and is, I would say, 100% going to happen.

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