Jaguar Land Rover is to spend an extra £1bn with UK suppliers and create a 400,000 sq ft logistics park at Highcross's Phoenix warehouse in Ellesmere Port to keep pace with soaring demand for the Range Rover Evoque.
JLR will spend the additional £1bn over the next four years, generously topping up the £2bn supply network it agreed with more than 40 UK suppliers in March 2011. Suppliers involved provide components, facilities and services to support the Range Rover Evoque production line at Halewood in Knowsley, south of Liverpool.
JLR's new logistics facility at Phoenix, next to the Vauxhall Motors plant in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire will open in the summer to support both the Evoque and Land Rover Freelander 2, also built at Halewood.
JLR's logistics provider, DHL, will manage the logistics site to enhance its existing operations at the Halewood plant, and create around 300 new jobs.
Phoenix was chosen ahead of the former Ethel Austin headquarters in Knowsley. Agents on Phoenix are CBRE, Jones Lang LaSalle and Legat Owen.
Dr Ralf Speth, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, said "Today's announcements demonstrate JLR's strong products and clear ambition for continued growth. The demand we have seen across the globe for the Range Rover Evoque means we are able to significantly increase what we spend with our suppliers, which is great news for the UK economy, and the thousands of jobs JLR supports in its supply chain. Our commitment to the North West will also be enhanced with the new logistics facility and this will support the future success of both our Freelander 2 and Range Rover Evoque models."
Paul Dyer, managing director of DHL Supply Chain's automotive services in the UK and Ireland, commented: "As the UK's North West region is fast becoming a major supply chain hub for the automotive industry, this new facility will greatly enhance the next stage of the company's development and future success."
The Range Rover Evoque went on sale in September 2011 and has already won 100 international awards. As at the end of April, JLR has sold 60,111 Range Rover Evoque models globally. In March 2012, JLR announced the creation of 1,000 new jobs at its Halewood plant, which will support production of the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Freelander 2. This recruitment campaign will take the workforce at Halewood to almost 4,500 – trebling the number employed there compared to three years ago – as the plant moves to three shifts and 24-hour production.Senior staff from Cheshire West & Chester Council's regeneration service worked closely with JLR to help clinch the deal.
Cllr Mike Jones, council leader, said: "This is tremendous news for Ellesmere Port and will continue the town's long partnership with the automotive industry.
"We have moved heaven and earth to help make this happen and I understand the company were delighted with the quality of service we have been able to offer."