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Halewood makes a new Discovery - and 250 jobs

Jaguar Land Rover boss leaks news of sporty arrival at global leader's dinner

Written by . Published on June 19th 2014.

Halewood makes a new Discovery - and 250 jobs

JAGUAR Land Rover's love affair with Liverpool continued in style last night with the company announcing its all-new sports model is to be built at Halewood.  

Recruitment of an extra 250 workers has already started, but it's odds on there will be a dash along Speke Boulevard to snap up any spare vacancies. 

It also means an investment of £200m at Halewood to accommodate the new Land Rover Discovery Sport. 

Bosses at the factory had carefully choreographed a string of interviews on Thursday morning to announce the great news for Merseyside. 

But the details were leaked by the company's own CEO, Dr Ralf Speth, 12 hours before.

He spilled the beans to a crowded audience at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral which was playing host to a banquet for hundreds of city leaders from around the world. 

For Mayor Joe Anderson it couldn't have worked out any better if he had choreographed the announcement himself. 

Here was a hard-nosed businessman, boss of one of the most successful car companies in the world, waxing lyrical about Liverpool and its Merseyside workforce. 

The message was made loud and clear to the global audience that Liverpool really is open for business.

JLR could have decided to build the car anywhere. The Halewood plant already produces more than 200,000 Range Rover Evoques every year - four out of every five shipped to 170 global markets. But the new sports SUV will be built alongside the Evoque in a factory already operating 24-hours a day to meet demand. 

The new jobs will see the workforce at Halewood grow to 4,750 - treble what it was just four years ago. It will also mean in recent times more than £500m has been invested in the factory. 

Speaking at a banquet  Dr Speth said: "Tonight I want to make an announcement to you.  I am delighted Liverpool has been selected to build the new Land Rover Discovery Sport. This investment is totally deserved and strengthens the special relationship that bonds Jaguar Land Rover to this great city.” 

Like the Range Rover Evoque – the company’s fastest selling model of all time - also made at Halewood, the new sports car is likely to generate global interest. Last year more than 200,000 Evoque’s were built at Liverpool,  up 12% year-on-year and Dr Seth said he was confident sales this year would be just as strong.

Four out of every five vehicles built at the Halewood factory are exported to 170 global markets.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson who hosted the banquet in Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral said he was delighted with the news. 

“I only learned about it a few hours earlier. It is great for Liverpool and for our economy, but it is also a demonstration of faith in car builders in our city. The fact this announcement is being made during the current International Festival of Business we are staging is brilliant.” 

The new Land Rover Discovery Sport, available in the showrooms from 2015, will be the most versatile and capable vehicle in the compact SUV segment. It is the first member of an all-new family of Discovery vehicles, inspired by the Discovery Vision Concept which was spectacularly showcased at this year’s New York International Auto Show. 

 Richard Else, JLR’s Operations Director at Liverpool said: “I am delighted to be welcoming the new Land Rover Discovery Sport to Halewood. Its arrival has been a further boost to the region and to our committed and loyal workforce who are all passionate ambassadors for this great company. In many ways Halewood has has embodied the transformation of Jaguar Land Rover. We have seen our workforce treble and production quadruple in just four years.  Today we are operating 24-hours a day to meet global demand." 

Recent investment at the factory includes the installation of 260 new automated robots.

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AnonymousJune 19th 2014.

Great news and well done to everyone involved in such a success story, but it won't be long before some dreary backward looking drudge will kick off about a Victorian manhole cover that was paved over to extend the JLR plant

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