By Phillip Oladunjoye / Senior Correspondent, Lagos
Jaguar Land Rover has said its Solihull Manufacturing Plant has marked the beginning of production of the all-new Jaguar XE with the official opening of its state-of-the-art £500m ‘factory within a factory.’
The auto maker said the West Midlands based plant recently marked another significant milestone in its 70-year history as it welcomed the Jaguar brand to the site for the first time, noting that the Solihull facility has been home to the Land Rover brand, where production of the Defender, Discovery, Range Rover, and Range Rover Sport are built.
“The arrival of the XE at the Solihull manufacturing plant is significant for both the Jaguar and Land Rover brands. Renowned for producing some of the world’s most iconic saloon cars in history, the advent of XE production at Solihull marks a key milestone for Jaguar, in this, its 80th year. For Land Rover, welcoming the Jaguar brand to its home is the latest in a string of significant developments which have seen the site undergo a spectacular transformation in just five years. In this short time, Solihull production has almost trebled and the workforce has doubled.
“The opening of its new body shop and trim and final facilities –which represent the largest single investment in the Solihull plant in its 70 year history, was commemorated by employees who took part in a celebration of the company’s rich and world-renowned motoring brands,” JLR said.
Speaking at the official opening of the plant, Solihull Operations Director, Alan Volkaerts said: “This really is an incredibly special day for Jaguar Land Rover and the team here at Solihull, many of whom have witnessed the plant change beyond all recognition in recent time. The arrival of the new Jaguar XE marks a new chapter in the history of this plant and showcases the flexibility of our manufacturing operation thanks to a strategic investment in aluminium technologies and infrastructure.
“I speak on behalf of the whole team when I say what an incredible privilege it is to be producing not one, but two of the world’s best loved motoring brands.”
JLR said the start of XE production at the Solihull plant is the first step in making the site a dual-branded manufacturing operation, noting that earlier this year, the company confirmed its breakthrough Jaguar performance crossover, the F-PACE is to be built at the site. Capitalising on its £1.5bn investment in a technically-advanced aluminium vehicle architecture, Jaguar Land Rover continues to push for increased competitiveness, flexibility and efficiency to deliver more new and engaging products to customers around the world.
Source : Independent