Land Rover has restarted production at Solihull as the Covid-19 restrictions start to ease, with the first new Range Rover rolling off the line this week.
Jaguar Land Rover were already struggling with a rapidly changing car landscape and lower sales before the Covid-19 pandemic arrived to wreak havoc on the economy, so an enforced production lockdown since May is going to have had a devastating effect on their finances, even with support from stuff like furloughing.
But with restrictions starting to ease, Jaguar Land Rover are taking baby steps to resume production, although not at the scale they need, with Solihull back at work this week and the first post-Covid-19 lockdown Range Rover rolling off the production line (above).
But restarting production comes at a price, and that price is a wide ranging number of measures to keep workers safe, including social distancing, hygiene and health monitoring measures, with thermal cameras for temperature checks, PPE for those whose work means social distancing is impossible, one-way systems and enhanced cleaning regimes.
Grant McPherson, JLR Manufacturing Director, said:
Seeing the first Range Rover come off our line today is a defining moment for Jaguar Land Rover, for all of us who work for the company and the many businesses in our supply chain. It marks the end of our temporary shutdown and signals the beginning of a return to normality. But, of course, this is a new normal.
People will be experiencing many emotions, ranging from worry about hygiene to relief at being able to return to work and excitement at seeing colleagues again. The health and wellbeing of our employees has been our primary concern in the build-up to this point. Throughout the coming months, I know that as a team we will do all we can to ‘Stay safe. Be kind. Stay well’.
JLR has also started production again at Nitra and Graz, and engine production in Wolverhampton, and plans to resume in Halewood on 8 June. JLR’s China JV resumed production in February.