JLR celebrates one millionth Land Rover Discovery with Birmingham to Beijing expedition

29 February 2012 #SMMT News

Jaguar Land Rover is today celebrating the one millionth Land Rover Discovery manufactured at its Solihull plant in the West Midlands. The company is marking the milestone by setting off on an expedition from the model’s birthplace in Birmingham to Beijing in China, one of its fastest-growing markets – arriving on 23 April at the start of the city’s motor show.

The announcement marks a significant achievement for the UK automotive industry, with the Discovery’s global sales up by 16% year on year to a record 45,000 units in 2011, and 83% of the model’s production being exported to 170 different markets around the world. The Solihull plant workforce alone has increased by 20% in the last six months, rising to 6,000 to meet growing international demand for Land Rover products.

Alan Volkaerts, Operations Director at JLR’s Solihull plant, said, “Many people are involved in the production of the Discovery, and many have been here for the whole journey, from car number one to car number one million. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank every one of them. They have done a brilliant job, and have displayed great dedication and service. These are the men and women who have made the Discovery the success story it is today.”

The Discovery’s expedition route will cover some 8,000 miles across 13 countries in 50 days. A team of four Land Rover Experience experts will tackle both extreme terrain and adverse weather conditions in the one millionth Discovery to roll off the line at Solihull. The journey launches a fundraising project that aims to raise £1 million for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Last year saw a number of high-profile investment announcements from UK automotive companies, including Jaguar Land Rover. Major UK automotive sector announcements in 2011 amounted to the creation of around 9,900 new jobs, the safeguarding of over 12,000 jobs, investments worth over £4 billion either directly in UK automotive or in automotive supply chain activities, nine new vehicle models and long-term announcements to manufacture four next generation vehicle models in the UK.

Click through to download the latest monthly data reports on UK automotive manufacturing.

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