16 September 2015

UK Car Industry: Land Rover #2

Land Rover is the second major car producer in the UK, with just over 374,000 cars and 11,400 LCVs made in 2014. Vehicles are made in Solihull, Birmingham and Halewood, Merseyside. Production history by model can be found by simply clicking here. It certainly is a British success story, now being ably assisted by Tata Motors.

After WWII, steel was hard to obtain while aluminium wasn't. Therefore a vehicle suitable to be made from that material was decided upon, thus the square looking, utilitarian Land Rover was born. It was intended as a farm vehicle that was soon seen around the world, trailblazing.

Then it was decided to make a 'posh' one and the Range Rover was it. It gradually gained acceptance and started the popular premium SUV segment. Other models came and now there are seven in 2015. One has to go, the original Landie, but it will return and be the better for it.

All R&D are done within the UK, adding value to Britain. Engines are sourced from Ford UK as well as a new engine plant near Wolverhampton, West Midlands. New models are coming within three ranges, the work horse Defender range, practical Discovery range and luxury Range Rover range.

The biggest problem is production capacity to handle all this so much of the future increase will be new factories offshore. A factory in China is ramping up production for the Evoque, a smaller factory in Brazil will make the Discovery Sport. This compliments the existing assembly of the Evoque in India.

Production share (car) of the UK total: 24.5%. UK value rating: 9/10.

The series starts with Nissan (found here). Next is the MINI (found here).

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