The former Ford Halewood plant became a Jaguar and Land Rover facility during the brands Blue Oval ownership

The former Ford Halewood plant became a Jaguar and Land Rover facility during the brands' Blue Oval ownership

The Range Rover Evoque Job One has come off the line at Tata Motors-owned Land Rover’s Halewood manufacturing plant in Liverpool where the Freelander is also built. In a commendable continuation of an old British Leyland/Rover Group/MG Rover tradition, the first production car will be donated to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust for display at its Heritage Motor Centre museum, next door to LR HQ in Gaydon.

LR said worldwide interest in the new car has been "exceptional" with 18,000 advance orders.

Halewood was opened in the early 1960s as a Ford plant making the Anglia and previously made the Jaguar X-type. Its workforce was doubled to over 3,000 employees for the new Range Rover. Seventy-five per cent of production is destined for export to more than 170 countries around the world. ABout 50% of Evoque components are made in Britain, with contracts worth GBP2bn awarded to around 40 UK suppliers.

“It is a groundbreaking product, a Range Rover with concept car looks, lightweight technologies and the capability to deliver 50mpg fuel economy. At the same time it’s still a true Range Rover that’s agile, nimble, designed to survive in the urban jungle and capable of tackling the toughest climates and terrains thanks to Land Rover’s legendary all-wheel drive expertise,” the automaker said.

The Evoque launch is one of 40 new "product actions" Jaguar Land Rover plans in the next five years. It is spending GBP1.5bn a year developing new models, engines, technologies and vehicle lines.

Currently Jaguar Land Rover directly employs almost 19,000 people in the UK, and indirectly supports up to 140,000 further jobs through its supply chain, dealer network and associated business operations. It booked after tax profits of £1.043bn for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.