This week Jaguar Land Rover announced that for the first time in its 50 year history, its Halewood plant would be moving to a 24 hour shift pattern. The Halewood plant has tripled its workforce in the last three years and is currently seeking to recruit an extra 1000 workers. But why?
Firstly there is the Evoque, Range Rover’s new model. Styled by former pop star turned fashion designer Victoria Beckham, the Evoque was launched last year as an entry level Range Rover. Fashionable, versatile and affordable, JLR introduced the Evoque to the market place as an affordable Range Rover that shook off some of the masculine shackles associated with other models in the range; widening their appeal to women and the fashion savvy.
Secondly, demand for British Marques has soared in overseas markets, particularly in emerging economies such as China and India, where a new group of high net worth individuals are seeking luxury automobile brands with a distinct heritage; something which has become synonymous with brands such as Jaguar Land Rover.
Couple this desire for a British brand with a product such as the Evoque and it is no surprise that JLR have had to make changes to shift patterns to keep up with demand. It has after all sold over 88,000 vehicles worldwide since its launch last year.
The changes JLR has had to make to shift patterns and staff numbers to match demand has also had an effect on Fircroft. We have seen a sharp increase in demand from JLR for automotive engineering personnel across a range of disciplines including Design, Development & Manufacturing Engineers. To support JLR’s operations in the Midlands we have also opened an office in Solihull. This has strengthened our relationship with JLR but also the contractors we have working with them in the region.