Royal seal of approval for car plant’s milestone

Princess Anne at Halewood

The Princess Royal visited Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) Halewood plant in Knowsley this week for a special diamond anniversary tour to mark 60 years of manufacturing since the first vehicle was produced at the Merseyside facility, in 1963.

She was given exclusive insight into electrification plans and works under way at the facility as it is reimagined as an all-electric manufacturing facility.

Local charity, The Inclusive Hub, was also invited to the royal occasion after being selected by employees for a vehicle donation as part of an internal recognition scheme.

The Princess Royal presented the charity with a Discovery Sport, built at Halewood, on behalf of JLR.

Trevor Leeks, JLR Halewood operations director, said: “While Halewood’s history began 60 years ago under different ownership, many of our wonderful people have long connections through that era into today’s stewardship under JLR.

“We look forward to an exciting new chapter as the plant progresses at pace to an all-electric future building the next generation of vehicles as we deliver our Reimagine strategy and our ambition to be the world’s leading modern luxury car manufacturer.”

Liam Starkey, coach and director at The Inclusive Hub, said: “This remarkable donation from JLR will help us provide life-changing support for more people who are differently abled and socially isolated.

“The new vehicle will help us to give more people access to our fitness sessions, school outreach sessions, mental health meetings, parent support groups and food bank hamper deliveries.”

During the week JLR was also cleared by the Advertising Standards Agency following complaints about one of its TV adverts.

The ad, seen in January this year, showed several Land Rover Defenders driving in difficult terrain on an island.

The ad ended with a Land Rover Defender reverse parking towards the edge of a cliff. It featured a view of the vehicle’s dashboard screen with footage from the rear camera as it reversed, showing yellow guidelines on the ground behind the car running up to the cliff edge.

The screen also featured an aerial view of the vehicle with a curved red line on the ground directly behind one side of the car. The vehicle was then shown braking and coming to a halt. On-screen text stated: “Challenging off-road driving requires training and experience. Risk of injury and damage. Never drive beyond your abilities.”

A further shot showed three Land Rover Defenders parked along the top of the cliff edge.

Six viewers challenged whether the ad misleadingly suggested that the parking sensor could alert drivers to a cliff edge and condoned dangerous and irresponsible driving.

However, after engaging with JLR, the ASA dismissed both claims.

On the first it said: “We concluded the ad did not misleadingly exaggerate the vehicle’s safety features, or suggest that such features could enable it to be driven in complete safety.”

On the second, it observed: “While we acknowledged that the car in the final scene was shown reversing in close proximity to a cliff edge, we considered the car was driven in a slow and calculated manner during the manoeuvre and was shown coming to a stop ahead of the edge.

“Because the ad was portrayed in a fantastical manner and featured extreme off-road locations that drivers were highly unlikely to encounter in everyday driving, we considered the ad was sufficiently removed from reality not to encourage or condone dangerous or irresponsible driving and emulation.”