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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 108

Date:- 19 July 2003

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JAGUAR AND LAND ROVER ANNOUNCE PRODUCTION REALIGNMENT FOR LOCAL CAR PLANTS

AUTOMOBILE manufacturer Jaguar and Land Rover announced this week a realignment plan to bring production of their highest volume products under one roof.

Assembly of Britain's best selling 4x4, the Land Rover Freelander, will transfer mid-decade to Halewood on Merseyside with the next generation model. The Halewood plant, one of the highest performing plants in the Ford Motor Company, will build the Freelander alongside Jaguar's highest volume premium product - the award-winning X-Type.

At the same time, Land Rover confirms the investment of £200 million pounds at the Solihull site in plant and equipment for a new Land Rover multi-vehicle platform to maximize production flexibility. The construction work, which is already advanced, will support the next generation Discovery and other future Land Rover products later this decade.

The Land Rover Solihull plant will concentrate on production of the company's larger premium and specialist 4x4 vehicles. These models will benefit from reduced production complexity at the plant.

The Halewood plant on Merseyside successfully transformed to manufacture Jaguar products and recently agreed a number of new working practices, ensuring that the plant remains competitive and committed to continuous improvement. The plant has attracted widespread praise for its efficiency and flexibility.

The Solihull plant will benefit from being able to focus exclusively on the larger premium and specialist sectors of the market. Land Rover has invested heavily at Solihull in recent years in products such as the universally praised new Range Rover and 2003 Discovery.

Premier Automotive Group Chairman Mark Fields said:- "This is the most logical way forward for both plants and is designed to drive greater efficiency in both the Jaguar and Land Rover businesses. This move will allow both plants to operate to maximum efficiency and is an intelligent use of the resources available. 

This will ensure we increase the production effectiveness and competitiveness of both plants, while enabling the Solihull plant to demonstrate its commitment to continuous improvement. At the same time, we are acknowledging the excellent progress made by Halewood."


Realignment of production will involve employment of around 1,000 jobs at the Halewood site and a reduction of jobs at the Solihull plant of a similar number. The company intends to work closely with the unions in order to achieve the required reduction by voluntary means. 

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SPLASH GETS UP AND RUNNING

A FUN Run kicks off a whole day of activities on July 20 in Walton, to celebrate the start of Liverpool Splash in the area.

The Fun Day will showcase all of the exciting Splash activities available over the summer at Walton Sports Centre.

Youngsters will be jumping for joy when they try out trampolining, swinging into action with golf coaching, shooting hoops on the Basketball court or showing off their football skills - and learning some new tricks.

Meanwhile the adults can pump some iron with a free induction to Walton's Lifestyles Fitness Studio.

Walton Sports Centre Manager Tony Naylor said:- "We are really looking forward to Splash this summer, it's going to be great - we want everyone aged 8-19 in the area to come down and get involved." Councillor Warren Bradley, Executive member for Leisure and Culture, said:- "Splash is going to be very special this summer, and we want to get as many youngsters involved as possible right across the city. The Fun Day is a fantastic idea to launch Splash in Walton - as it lets children get hands-on experience of what activities are on offer."

Liverpool City Council, Connexions, and Liverpool Children's Fund have joined together to put on more than 60 Splash schemes - right across the city - giving young people the chance to get active this summer.

Liverpool Splash is part of a national project, with 60,000 youngsters nationally joining in last year. The Liverpool scheme is the most successful in the country, and is set to get even better.

The Fun Day is on Sunday 20 July 2003, at Walton Sports Centre, Walton Hall Road, Liverpool, from 11.00am.

STARS & STRIPES SCORES FIRST INTO SALVADOR

RACE 13 of the round the world Clipper race proved to be less punishing than previous races for skipper Ross Daniel and the crew of New York Clipper who breezed across the Salvador finish line to victory in the early hours of Friday morning.

For 10 days of the 3,375 nautical mile race, the New Yorkers led the fleet as they raced across the Southern Atlantic and have now won both of the Clipper 2002 Atlantic crossings so far.

Despite the steering cable parting, with just over 20 miles to the finish line, Bristol Clipper took second place to become overall leaders.

The back of the fleet is the certainly the hottest place to be as Liverpool Clipper lagged behind the leaders but did well to have achieve a mile lead over both Hong Kong and Jersey, who are in equal seventh place. 

Clipper 2002/2003 - Race 13 Positions
03:00, 18 July 2003

Pos Yacht Distance to Finish (nautical miles) 
1 New York Finished 01:28 GMT; 2 Bristol Finished 06:10 GMT; 3 Cape Town Finished 07:34 GMT; 4 London 127; 5 Glasgow 157; 6 Liverpool 208; 7 Hong Kong 209 and 7 Jersey 209. 

Southport Reporter is a registered Trade Mark.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2003.