Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) just keeps generating new jobs.
It has announced another 1,000 jobs at Halewood to meet demand for the new Evoque, bringing the number of new staff to 5,000 in just 18 months. JLR is now far and away the biggest private sector employer in Merseyside.
Currently the Evoque has a waiting list of up to six months and Range Rover wants to expand its sales in markets like China and Brazil, so it clearly needs more capacity. The fact that it is adding a third shift at Halewood is also indirectly good news for the Evoque Convertible, shown at Geneva.
The biggest issue for the concept car is where JLR could make it, and more capacity in Merseyside would ease that problem. Don't expect the Evoque Convertible (photographed exclusively by Autoblog here) any time soon, though. It will be at least 2014 before it is launched
In the medium term, Land Rover will probably look to add capacity overseas; making cars in the UK, shipping them to China and then paying big import duties is not the ideal way of doing business. It is in talks with Chinese partners to set up a local assembly plant, although getting approval from the Chinese government is a complicated process.
Meanwhile, its Indian connections (JLR is owned by Indian giant Tata) mean that assembly of the Freelander has already started in Pune, and Jaguar has suggested that it, too, might assemble cars there within the next five years.