Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has brought the manufacturing of its own press tools in-house for the first time following a £1.7m investment at its Halewood plant on Merseyside.
JLR says the significant investment will not only drive efficiency and quality, but also enable its Halewood employees to learn new skills building and operating the tools.
The car-making giant had previously outsourced the production of its press tools to Asia.
Under the investment, JLR will install a new Press Die Manufacturing Centre, with a state-of-the-art five-axis milling machine, which manufactures press tools known as blanking dies from raw castings. These blanking dies are the first stage in the manufacture of car body panels, during new vehicle production.
JLR’s Halewood facilities will also be upgraded to enable the production of fully electric vehicles, as part of its new global Reimagine strategy, as the company drives forward with the electrification of both Jaguar and Land Rover brand.
Hannah Cocklin, a tool room apprentice at Jaguar Land Rover. Image courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover.
Hannah Cocklin, tool room apprentice at JLR, said: “This investment has given the tooling workforce a real boost as we are doing things we didn’t think we would ever get to do at Halewood.
“This is the last year of my apprenticeship so it’s brilliant to see what the future has in store for the team. It’s also exciting for the new apprentices joining the company this month. They probably never expected to be making the tools themselves.”
Niall Ford, stamping and press parts group manager at JLR Halewood, said: “The announcement highlights the continued investment in our factory – so there’s a bright and exciting future for Halewood and the Merseyside region.
“The manufacturing of raw cast iron press tools is great news for us as we have never done this in-house before. It shows huge confidence, not just in our Halewood factory, but also in our people who will be building these tools.
“For the first time, our workforce and apprentices will be trained in the new processes and skills required to build and operate dies, which means we attract and keep the best talent at Halewood.”
JLR said progress is “well under way” at the new centre with the factory producing pressed parts for future Jaguar and Land Rover models, across its sites globally.
One of the UK’s largest car manufacturers, JLR directly employs 3,700 people at its Halewood facility and supports a further 1,000 jobs indirectly in the wider supply chain.
JLR produces the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport at Halewood.