30 Business Studies and Economics students from Years 11 and 13 enjoyed a trip to see the Land Rover production plant in action at the company’s 300 acre site in Halewood, Merseyside. Following a detailed presentation about the roots of car manufacturing at the plant, which culminated in the takeover of Ford by Indian conglomerate Tata, the students, accompanied by Mr Murray and Mrs Gillibrand (in the absence of Miss Kirby who did all the hard work setting up the trip), were given a full tour of the highly specialised facilities. They were able to see the impact of specialisation and mechanisation on the production process which uses robotics to manufacture 900 Range Rovers in an 8 hour shift. Successful demand for the Evoque model has led to the firm continuing to work on a 3 shift 24 hour working day. However the continued global success of this model has lead them to producing the Evoque in China and Brazil with obvious potential consequences for employees in the long run.
The students gained first-hand knowledge of theoretical concepts such as economies of scale, JIT and lean production as the tour showed exactly how the firm can produce hundreds of cars per shift whilst being able to personalise them to meet customers’ specifications. The students were especially impressed to hear about the limited edition run of 200 Evoques designed by a famous celebrity which have been sold to China at a premium price of £82,000 each. Who was the celebrity designer? You’ll have to ask one of the students!