Jaguar Land Rover's Solihull Manufacturing Plant in the UK recently welcomed the Jaguar brand to the site for the first time. Historically, 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 West Midlands-based plant marked the beginning of production of the all-new Jaguar XE with the official opening of its state-of-the-art 500 million pound 'factory within a factory'.
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 that 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. Solihull Operations Director, Alan Volkaerts, was joined by legendary British motor racing driver Sir Stirling Moss OBE, Jaguar's highly regarded test driver, Norman Dewis OBE, who developed no fewer than 25 significant Jaguar cars and Land Rover aficionado Quentin Willson.
A new chapter
Speaking at the official opening, 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."
The start of XE production at the Solihull plant is the first step in making the site a dual-branded manufacturing operation. Earlier this year, the company confirmed its breakthrough Jaguar performance crossover, the F-PACE is to be built at the site. Capitalising on its 1.5 billion pound 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.