Blog posts with the tag Jaguar Land-Rover | Interested In Everything

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Blog posts with the tag "Jaguar Land-Rover"

Following on from my earlier ramblings about UK vehicle production, last  Wednesday I had a rather good tour of the Jaguar-Land Rover plant in Solihull.  One of my colleagues had organised a trip for our final year automotive students and, being as there was a spare seat on the bus (and most of my lot were going anyway, so this week’s lecture would have consisted of me talking to an empty room), she asked me along as it was one factory that I hadn’t visited.  Plus it was a day out and I can’t remember the last time I had one of those…

 

We were taken around the whole plant by our extremely enthusiastic and helpful guide, Bob, an ex-Special Vehicles man with 30 years of experience, who had an encyclopaedic knowledge of things Land Rover.  The tour lasted most of the day and covered just about everything, from the pressing shop, where the body panels are created from sheet metal, along the assembly lines, where everything is put together, right through to final finishing where the complete cars are tested to make sure everything works before they are sent out to the customers.  Apart from the spectacle of seeing some sheets of metal and sundry parts all coming together to make a complete car, I was also impressed by some of the numbers that were getting thrown around – probably the most astounding being that 80% of production is set for export!  The other thing I found interesting was that each of the vehicles that were slowly moving past me on the line had already got a buyer – it looks like, if I get around to ordering that Defender I’ve always promised myself, I’ll have to wait a few months before it gets delivered.

Anyway, before I start sounding like an advert for JLR, have a glance at the company website here.

 

Now, as teaching is paused for the Easter break, I think I’m going to take this opportunity to have a brief holiday.  Nothing too spectacular – I’ll probably hook the caravan up to the MG and disappear off into the wilds of Derbyshire for a few days.  One of the things that appeals to me about this kind of break is that, if I can find a camp site that’s far enough away from civilisation, I might just pack up my trusty telescope and do a bit of star gazing, weather permitting.  I’ll bore you all with my own amateur astronomy tales later, but, for now, here’s an interesting article from last Friday’s Guardian:

I couldn’t possible put it any better than that…

Following on from my last ramble about the incredibly healthy state of UK design and manufacture, it looks like our engineers are in demand yet again.  I was browsing the news in the world of engineering last night when I happened across this little gem.

 

Apparently, Tata Motors is about to base its R&D operations right here in the UK to take advantage of our technical expertise.  The company may not exactly be a household name in this country – some of you may be aware that one of their cars, the Indica, was briefly imported by MG-Rover about 10 years ago and badged as the CityRover, a kind of Austin Metro replacement – but they are a serious player in the automotive field and just happen to own Jaguar Land-Rover.  Although most of Tata’s cars are designed for their home market, their latest concept vehicle, the Nano Pixel was developed at Warwick, as the company relies heavily on a team of development engineers at the Warwick Manufacturing Group.

 

Having been involved with development at JLR for a number of years, Tata have decided to base their R&D operation in the UK because of our world class automotive engineers.  On a personal note, I took some of my final year automotive students for a visit to JLR last summer and their current set-up is extremely impressive.  They also let me drive a brand new Discovery 4 around their off-road track, but that’s another story.

 

It’s good to see that we still have the necessary expertise to design and develop successful products – like I said last week, there seems to be a common misconception that we are no longer capable of making anything in the UK any more, but nothing could be further from the truth. As far as home grown automotive production goes, JLR are riding high and MGs are rolling off the lines at Longbridge again.  The companies may be owned by overseas concerns (is that really relevant?), but our engineers are proving that we do still have the knowledge and expertise.