Land Rover starts 24-hour production at UK plant to meet Evoque demand
Land Rover has begun 24-hour production at its plant in Halewood, England, to meet growing demand for the Range Rover Evoque.
Since its launch in July 2011, nearly 88,000 Evoque premium medium SUVs have been sold globally, Land Rover said.
It is the first time in the factory's 50-year history that around-the-clock production has been needed. The non-stop output is also intended to help support the launch of the new Land Rover Freelander SUV.
In preparation for ramping up production, Land Rover has added 1,000 new workers at Halewood.
"Moving production to three shifts and working 24 hours a day will allow us to significantly reduce the time a customer has to wait for their new Range Rover Evoque," Richard Else, operations director at the Halewood plant, said in a statement on Tuesday.
The work force at the plant has tripled in the past three years as Tata Motors, the Indian owner of Land Rover and Jaguar, has expanded to meet demand for Land Rovers. Currently, the plant employs 4,500.
Last week, Tata reported that Jaguar Land Rover global sales rose 34 percent in the second quarter to 83,452. Of these, 71,678 were Land Rovers. JLR now employs a total of 24,000 people in Britain, making it the UK's largest automotive employer.
Tata, which bought the British brands from Ford in 2008 for $2.5 billion, plans to invest $12 billion in JLR over five years to win a bigger share of a premium-car market dominated by BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
You can reach David Jolley at firstname.lastname@example.org.