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    Event Review: Standing room only at Members Networking Meeting, 28 November 2012, Jaguar Land Rover, Halewood

    There was such a high demand for places at the NAA Member’s Meeting at Jaguar Land Rover that there was standing room only for many members. However the reward was a fascinating tour of the Halewood plant, and a presentation about Jaguar Land Rover’s operations that left people in no doubt about the current incredible success that the brand is enjoying.

    Halewood Operations manufactures the Land Rover Freelander 2 and the multi-award winning Range Rover Evoque. The plant is celebrating its 50th Anniversary during 2012/13 and has been a JLR facility since 1998.

    Halewood is a full body and assembly plant, including Press Shop, Body and White Assembly, Paint Shop, and Trim and Final. The site covers 300 acres of manufacturing space and is home to over 4500 employees, a number which has trebled in less than 3 years.

    Due to the strong global demand for both Halewood vehicles, the plant has moved to 24 hour operation (over 3 and 4 shifts). This is the first time Halewood has operated around the clock in the plant’s 50-year history.

    Highlights of the plant’s history include that it opened in 1963, at which time it built the Ford Anglia. After many years of making Fords, in 1998, with Jaguar at that time being part of the Ford empire, Halewood won the contract for manufacturing the Jaguar X-Type; production started in 2001. This was seen as a critical moment in a culture change at Halewood.

    In 2002 Halewood won the contract to build the Land Rover Freelander 2, and production began in 2006. In 2009 the facility won the contract for the Evoque, which was launched in 2011 – a car that has proven to be a huge worldwide sales success due to factors such as its concept car looks, on and off-road driving ability, and improved levels of fuel economy.

    In May 2012 JLR announced a further £1bn investment in supply contracts – in addition to the initial £2bn of contracts – and the creation of an external logistics centre in Ellesmere Port.

    The factory tour showed how two models – the Freelander 2, and the three-door and the five-door Evoque – all go down the line together, and with an Evoque having over 350,000 possible variations, and with JLR’s products being exported to over 170 countries, operations at the plant today are very different from what they were 50 years ago.

    The Halewood tour proved that it’s really important to book early for NAA events to avoid disappointment. Check the NAA newsletter every month to find out about forthcoming events.

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham