The new Visitor Centre at Solihull in the West Midlands was officially opened on December 3rd by Mr Ratan Tata, the outgoing Chairman of Jaguar Land Rover‘s parent company Tata Sons, accompanied by his successor Mr Cyrus Mistry and JLR Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ralf Speth.
It is the first Jaguar Land Rover facility of its kind and has been developed to offer customers the opportunity to undergo a high-quality, multi-media experience as part of the handover of their new Land Rover product.
Key features include an interactive car reveal sequence incorporating unique 3D mapping projection technology, while other facilities include a VIP lounge, executive meeting rooms and a state-of-the-art theatre.
Mark Cameron, Jaguar Land Rover Global Brand Experience Director – Land Rover, explained:
“This facility has been designed to provide customers with the opportunity to come into direct contact with our brand. It offers an intimate setting while delivering bespoke and premium experiences using the latest technologies to offer the very highest levels of customer service.”
More than 6,000 guests visit Solihull each year to take part in factory tours and off-road experiences, and Jaguar Land Rover expect to receive up to 2,000 additional guests in 2013 following the opening of the new Visitor Centre.
It forms part of an on-going redevelopment and investment programme at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull manufacturing plant, which earlier this year saw the opening of a new aluminum body construction facility for the all-new Range Rover, as well as the recruitment of more than 1,100 new employees.
Alan Volkaerts, Operations Director at Solihull, said:
“We are extremely proud of our new facilities as we continue to invest in the infrastructure of our site. This new state-of-the-art Visitor Centre will act as a gateway to the manufacturing site and enhance the experience for the thousands of visits we expect to receive from all over the world.”
Bob Parks, Site Service Manager for Solihull, added:
“The new Visitor Centre is great as it has given a signature frontage to the plant which announces us to the world.
“The ground floor of the new centre is a lot smaller than the floor above so it gives it a nice oval shape. Inside the building we have got a reception area that is below ground and then on the ground floor we have a general presentation area. Upstairs there is a theatre with a high quality sound system, an executive lounge and a board room. The whole centre is glass sided, so all the while that you’re walking through this building you can see the manufacturing process all around you.
“The idea behind the building was to give the customer a feel for the process that goes into creating our vehicles, from educational tours and videos to rubbing shoulders with the very people who actually build these cars – it is all about showcasing what Jaguar Land Rover is about.
“In addition to providing an insight to customers and interested visitors, the new building is also a signal to our employees of Jaguar Land Rover’s intent to continue building vehicles at Solihull.”
In excess of 6,000 manufacturing employees work at Solihull on the production of the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Discovery and the Defender vehicles.
The main contractors on the project were Anglo Holt and speaking about the build, Project Manager Andy Hall said:
“The whole design and build was a real collaboration between Jaguar Land Rover and Anglo Holt.
“We worked very closely with Bob to achieve the oval design of the building which was inspired by the Jaguar Land Rover badge.
“Furthermore we’ve installed photovoltaic cells so this visitor centre will be almost completely self sufficient in terms of energy usage.”
The Visitor Centre is now open to the general public.