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Alice

Halewood and Cars - A brief History!

Halewood and Cars - A brief History!

   It all started on 8 March 1963 with a lime green Ford Anglia, driven by Lord Mayor of Liverpool David Lewis.

   With a sign on the roof declaring 'Job No1', the Anglia was the first car made on Merseyside and the start of production at Ford's Halewood plant.

   The ?30m factory was originally intended to employ 9000 workers and has seen many ups and downs since.

   46 years on the move to the new Range Rover seems to secure the future of the now Jaguar Land Rover plant.

   The factory's story began in 1960 when the British government responding to Ford's need for a new plant put forward Halewood as an option, since then the plants fortunes have fluctuated with the economic tide and changes in world trade.

   At times the factory has seemed destined to go the way of it's Speke neighbour British Leyland, which closed in 1978, but somehow it has always survived, even if it now employs far less than the 9000 workers it began with in the 1960s.

   The Escort years

   Production of the Anglia ceased in 1967 and the Ford factory began work on the Escort, a car it would churn out through to the turn of the millennium.

   Despite outbreaks of industrial unrest throughout the 1970s and into the 80s the plant became the European base for Escort and Orion production.

   By 1997 the plant was home to 5000 workers, a big fall from the 14,500 it employed at its peak.

   Uncertainty surrounded Ford's future in Halewood when it was announced that production of the Escort would end, and its replacement, the Focus, would be built in mainland Europe.

   In January 1997 Ford announced 1300 job losses at Halewood and with Escort production prospects looked bleak.

   It was then revealed that Jaguar, owned by Ford, would begin producing its new X-Type at Halewood.

   With a change of name the plants future was once more secure and in 2003 it was announced that 1000 jobs would be created as production began on the Land Rover Freelander.

   The fall out from the credit crunch and ensuing recession hit car manufacturing particularly hard and in March 2008 Jaguar and Land Rover were sold to the Indian based group Tata.

   Once more there were worries for Halewood's long term prosperity, and in July 2009, 300 jobs went as production of the X-type ended and struggling with falling sales there was a three week shutdown.

   The news that the plant will begin making the new Range Rover, puts an end to any uncertainties about the factories medium term future, but it's unlikely to be the end of Halewood's rollercoaster ride.

   BBC Liverpool - 2009
Barbie

Thanks Alice.

The first car to roll off the production line:



And it is now in the Museum of Liverpool Life.
brainbox

Thanks for the info Alice and for that Pic Barbie.
I remember that Anglia from when I was a kid, it was a permanent exhibit in the Old Museum transport section in William Brown Street.
Its now in The Museum of Liverpool at the Pier Head,as Barbie says , on the top floor, but it has been ridiculously positioned high up about 15 ft out of  the normal line of sight



.. Whats all that about then  .   Rolling Eyes
Barbie

Because people tend to touch it and as you will know, paint work scratches easily yes? This is my wild guess, it might be a space saving thing even!
Alice

I must admit it is too high, surely it could have been lower!  I don't like the colour either.

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