This time, under the leadership of Tim Hannig, Director of Jaguar Land Rover’s Classic Car Division, there was a field visit to the Land Rover factory.
“Every classic old car carries a strong emotion.”
“My uncle had a first-generation Discovery,” recalls Tim Haniger, director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic. “He lived in Denmark, and we visited him at his house. The car was a It was used for hunting, so it looked like a mess. But I remember him opening the huge side-swing tailgate and letting me climb in. I sat sideways in the back seat. I was eight years old, That’s really cool!”
Everyone has their own Land Rover stories. All these stories from mountains, rivers, lakes, and continents connect the 70th anniversary of Land Rover history.
Among them, there are even some legends that came across the ocean. Remember the first land vehicle in history to cross the Bering Strait? That was already 2008. Now, the Land Rover saga has a new foothold.
The Jaguar Land Rover classic car factory with an investment of 7 million pounds and an area of 14,000 square meters was completed and put into use in the central part of the UK. It will become one of the largest classic car factories in the world integrating sales, manufacturing and restoration.
Stepping into the factory, the first thing that catches the eye is a display hall, followed by a huge glass door. There are 54 workshops behind the door, which are divided into dismantling area, remanufacturing area and assembly area. At the end of all these areas is the Jaguar Land Rover Classic Collection Centre.
Like a secret hidden behind a wardrobe, more than 500 classic Jaguar Land Rover cars are displayed here. Tim Haniger said: “Our classic car factory has assumed the role of a museum. During the tour, you can feel the working atmosphere of life and death while learning about the origin and development of our company. We all write together Living history.”
to seek perfection
Why invest so much in a factory whose business area is mainly for discontinued vehicles?
According to Hanniger, there are two reasons. “One is to commemorate the history of our brand, so that more people can understand and experience it. Second, we realize that this is a sustainable development.” He explained, it is also based on the second reason Today’s classic car factory was born.
Land Rover has a rich history and too many memorable things. It turns out that Land Rover’s decision to do a factory restoration of an older car has a lot of people excited.
Greg King is an engineer at the classic car factory. He recalls: “In 2015, when we started rebuilding the original 1948 Land Rover Series 1 production line, there was a huge reaction. At first, I thought it was just a water test project, and none of us were convinced about its prospects. Think too optimistic.” Kim considers himself a Land Rover guy through and through. Growing up on a farm in south Devon, he was fascinated by Land Rovers as a child.
At the age of 16, Kim entered the company as an apprentice. Participating in the Land Rover classic car project is the biggest challenge in his life. “We keep the original sketches of all the vehicles from the 1940s to the present day,” King said, meaning Land Rover is able to take classic car restoration projects to heights that no one else can. But no amount of blueprints will matter without the expertise to bring them to life.
Hanniger believes that in a professional field such as traditional automobiles, suitable talents are crucial. Two years ago, the department consisted of about 35 staff working in a corner of the Solihull factory. Today, a total of 140 specialists work on classic cars at the factory. “Customers trust us to hand over their cars to us. Every classic old car carries strong emotions. Therefore, we must treat these cars with the same enthusiasm and solemnly.” Han Nigger said so emphatically.
Restoration work, however, is manual labor without the quality control of a mass production line. Hanniger also admits: “As long as the tightening torque of the nuts on the wheels meets the standard, then our robot will consider it acceptable. But every car is different. That’s why we ask employees not only to be competent. , but also because they are very proficient. At the same time, we also ask them to be motivated every day to do their best work.”
In this industry today, the existing restoration manufacturers are often relatively small. The creation in the Land Rover classic car factory not only upholds the craftsman spirit in the small workshop, but also brings some additional benefits from a strategic location.
“The Land Rover Classic plant has driven a positive momentum across the industry,” Haniger said. “A lot of old car parts have been discontinued and out of stock. We’re determined to improve that. Last year alone, we produced new 150 vacancies in the spare parts catalogue. We need enthusiastic Land Rover fans to join us in this work.” Only by brainstorming and sharing information can we find out the parts group with the highest market demand .
“Then we can go to great lengths to make these parts, and it’s good for everybody,” Hanig said. Provide new spare parts. Even if you are someone who restores your own car in the garage, you deserve the opportunity to use spare parts that are as good as anyone else.” Land Rover Classic Car Factory sells both new cars and classic cars. first retail store.
For a long time, Land Rover has always been a manufacturer and wholesaler. However, now they openly invite the public to visit the exhibition hall and workshop of the classic car factory, in order to open up a new territory and create a new pattern. In doing so, they forge a stronger connection with their customers than ever before. “Since we opened, we’ve had a burst of appointments,” says Felix Welch, general manager of the classic car factory. “These classic cars are almost works of art. There are two kinds of people who It’s easy to fall in love with them, the ones who are new to classic cars and the ones who are long-time fans of classic cars. Last Sunday we held a ‘Land Rover Breakfast Club’ ’ event and managed to attract 52 Land Rover Defender 50th Anniversary Edition models to join us in celebrating – our largest gathering ever.”
Now, the Land Rover classic car project has a clear goal and a longer-term development vision. A second classic car factory in Essen, Germany has officially opened, and a new North American factory is being planned. “In the future, we’ll be there for our customers wherever we’re needed,” says Haniger, before adding with a laugh: “Land Rover has never been limited by the UK’s borders. In fact, what it does Far away, far without end.”
Text: NATHANIEL HANDY
PHOTO: PETER GUENZEL