Christmas came early today at Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich Manufacturing Centre with the arrival of the first new Jaguar XK sports car to drive off the end of the production line. Hundreds of Jaguar employees celebrated this seminal event that heralds another era of Jaguar sporting luxury.
The first production car, a Liquid Silver 4.2 V8 XK Coupe with Charcoal interior and all burr walnut facia, was handed over by John Naughton, Plant Director, to John Maries, Executive Director, Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust. The car will be kept in the Trust’s collection alongside the first and last E-TYPE’s and many other iconic models from Jaguar’s memorable past.
The global public debut of the NEW XK coupe took place at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2005 and the XK Convertible is due to make its public debut at the NAIAS Detroit Motor Show in January 2006. Even before going on sale the XK has already been awarded the Engineering and Technology Award at the prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards. It was recognised for an all-new industry-leading feature – the pedestrian deployable bonnet.
The all-new XK Coupe and Convertible models will be available from early 2006.
Bibiana Boerio, Jaguar’s Managing Director said: “Today is a very special day, the first Job#1 XK sports car at Castle Bromwich; it is an exciting time for all our employees, customers and dealers. The launch of a new Jaguar sports car creates momentum, excitement and a buzz that marks an historic step in the company’s revitalisation plans.
“There has been a tremendous response from all around the world to the launch of the XK; we are now starting to take official customer orders for this exciting Jaguar sports car before the official on sale date in early spring.”
Production of the award-winning NEW XK sports car takes place in a completely new state of the art manufacturing centre where the aluminium bodies for the XK and the XJ range are stamped, assembled and painted, alongside the S-TYPE.
“The creation of a new Jaguar sports car with an aluminium-intensive body structure represents a significant manufacturing accomplishment. A new, dedicated aluminium assembly facility at the Castle Bromwich plant alongside some of the most advanced lean manufacturing techniques in the car industry are major aspects of the XK manufacturing story.” John Naughton Castle Bromwich Plant Director, Jaguar Cars.
A new, dedicated aluminium pressing facility and a comprehensively redeveloped body assembly facility were constructed three years ago at Castle Bromwich to produce the XJ. As Jaguar’s first aluminium-intensive body structure in volume production, the XJ’s lightweight vehicle design represented a major step forward, not least for the intensive use of aluminium in a conventional vehicle architecture. This year Jaguar further invested into its Midlands site with an ambitious consolidation of the site. This included some of the following fascinating facts:
- In excess of 120 contracting companies and approximately 2,500 contractors were employed by Jaguar to transform the Castle Bromwich site for the arrival of the new XK and accommodate the XJ assembly transferred from Browns Lane in the summer.
- Approximately 1,400 tonnes of new steel was erected to construct these structures, refurbish F Block for XJ and introduce XK into Castle Bromwich.
- 14,000 sq metres of roof have been replaced on F Block and A1/A2 where the XK and XJ are assembled.
- A network of fire mains and valve sets was laid a metre below ground around the site from the northwest to the southeast corners, covering a length of 2 kilometres. An additional 58,000 sq metres of production building will be sprinklered as a result – equivalent to nine football pitches.
- A new 80,000-litre fuel farm was installed on the south road, to support XK production.
- 7,000 cubic metres of soil will have been excavated and distributed or removed from site weighing 12,500 tonnes – equivalent to a cross channel ferry.
- 5,000 cubic metres of concrete will have been poured weighing 12,000 tonnes and requiring over 500 concrete deliveries.