First new 'baby' Range Rover rolls off the line... but it's already sold out for this year
By RAY MASSEY
Last updated at 1:58 PM on 5th July 2011
The first new 'baby' Range Rover rolled off the production line yesterday but has already sold out for this year.
The Range Rover Evoque, set to become one of the hottest cars of 2011, passed its first important milestone when the first production vehicle was driven off the line at Land Rover's Halewood manufacturing plant in Liverpool.
But it has already received 18,000 advance orders from customers worldwide - selling out the entire planned production for showrooms this year - following £2billion investment.
Until now, only pre-production models have been built.
Comedian George Lamb was at the factory in Liverpool when the Evoque came off the production line
Jaguar Land Rover bosses, union representatives and employees celebrated the 'birth' of the first car to come off the line, which will be donated to the British Motor Industry Heritage trust next to the company's headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire.
The Evoque is the first of many new products Jaguar Land Rover plan to launch in the next five years, which it predicted will generate billions of pounds in investment in the UK.
Around 1,500 new recruits are being taken on for the Evoque, which is being built at the Halewood plant on Merseyside which also builds the Freelander 4X4.
First unveiled last July by former 'posh' Spice Girl' Victoria Beckham at Kensington Palace, the small Evoque goes on sale this summer priced from £30,000 to around £45,000.
It will be the "greenest" Range Rover so far produced managing 50 mile to the gallon motoring and is set to be a popular sight in the fashionable upmarket areas such as London's Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Kensington or Manchester' Alderley Edge.
Mrs Beckham has also been commissioned by the firm to develop her own personalised interiors for the car.
Jaguar Land Rover chief executive officer Dr Ralf Speth said: 'The teams that have designed engineered and built the new Evoque can be immensely proud of their achievement.
Ravi Kant, executive vice president of Tata Motors stands next to the Range Rover Evoque after the first one rolled off the production line today
Victoria Beckham launched the 'baby' Range Rover at the company's 40th anniversary hosted by Vogue last July
'Worldwide interest in our new car has been exceptional, with 18,000 customer orders received from customers eager to be among the first to own the new Range Rover.'
The company said 75 per cent of production is destined for export to more than 170 countries around the world, adding around £2 billion to the UK economy.
And half (50 per cent) of the components in new Evoque are made in Britain, with contracts worth another £2billion awarded to more than 40 UK supplier businesses.
The launch of the Range Rover Evoque is just one of 40 new products and variations that Jaguar Land Rover will carry out in the next five years
It is spending £1.5 billion a year developing new models, engines, technologies and vehicle lines.
Jaguar Land Rover employs nearly 19,000 people in the UK, and indirectly supports up to 140,000 further jobs through its supply chain, dealer network and associated business operations.
It was bought from Ford three years ago for £1.4billion by the giant Indian conglomerate TATA, which also owns Corus Steel and Tetley tea, run by the super rich Indian entrepreneur Ratan Tata.
Under TATA's control, Jaguar Land Rover has bounced back from loss-making by announcing after-tax profits of more than £1 billion for the 2010-2011 tax year.
It recently started production in India of the Land Rover Freelander at a car factory at Pune, about a four-hour drive from Mumbai, formerly Bombay.
Parts produced at JLR’s factory at Halewood on Merseyside are being shipped out to the Subcontinent in ‘knocked down’ form and assembled by an Indian workforce in Pune in Mahanashtra state in the west of the country.
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