Today, the first Range Rover made under new social distancing measures drove off the production line at Jaguar Land Rover’s manufacturing plant in Solihull, following the recent temporary pause in production due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Effective social distancing, hygiene and health monitoring measures are in place following an extensive review of all production lines, engineering facilities, office areas and communal spaces as the company starts a phased return to manufacturing.
Employees’ health and wellbeing are at the centre of this plan and, with the implementation of the new protocol, staff will experience a significant number of changes to their working day from the moment they enter the site.
Measures include temperature checks with thermal cameras, a 2 m distance between people wherever possible, Personal Protective Equipment where that is not the case, the introduction of one-way systems and enhanced cleaning at the plants. In addition, Jaguar Land Rover is offering every employee a reusable face visor made by the company.
Grant McPherson, Jaguar Land Rover Executive Director, Manufacturing, said: “Seeing the first Range Rover come off our line today is a defining moment for Jaguar Land Rover, for all of us who work for the company and the many businesses in our supply chain. It marks the end of our temporary shutdown and signals the beginning of a return to normality. But, of course, this is a new normal.
In addition to new measures onsite, colleagues will be asked to take additional actions before returning to work. These include completing an online clinical questionnaire, signing up to a health and wellbeing charter, and monitoring their temperature at home before each shift.
Production of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles has also resumed this week at Nitra (Slovakia) and Graz (Austria). Last week the team at the Engine Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton (UK) began building Ingenium engines again to enable the gradual return to vehicle production. Manufacturing will resume at Halewood (UK) on 8 June, starting with one shift. Small pockets of business-critical activity are taking place at Castle Bromwich as Jaguar Land Rover prepares for new model year introductions.
The company’s joint-venture plant in Changshu (China) has been operational since the middle of February as vehicle sales recover there and customers return to showrooms following the easing of the lockdown. As countries are relaxing distancing guidelines and retailers are reopening around the world, the restart of production at the company’s other plants will be confirmed in due course.