New state-of-the-art panel press installed at JLR plant, which is faster and more energy efficient than outgoing unit; it will be fully operational by autumn

A new 'servo' stamping line, the first of its kind to be built in the UK, has been installed at Jaguar Land Rover's Halewood plant at a cost of £45 million.

The new line has a combined press stamping capacity of some 7900 tonnes. It will stamp both steel and aluminium panels for cars produced at the factory, currently the Land Rover Freelander 2 and the Range Rover Evoque.

Able to handle more weight and work at higher speeds than traditional mechanical presses, the new line is more efficient, and also includes an energy recovery system which draws energy from its action and converts it to electricity.

Jaguar Land Rover says the press's design allows the workers to change its metal moulds within five minutes, compared to the 55 minutes it would usually take using older presses. Around 700 panels are produced at the Halewood site every hour, adding up to a total of some 25 million per year.

The firm says trial pressings using the new line will begin next month before full-scale stamping starts in the summer. By autumn, JLR officials say the line should be making up to 20 strikes per minute.

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Range Rover Evoque

The Range Rover Evoque draws heavily on style as a selling point, but also possesses the substance to back it up

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Our Verdict

Range Rover Evoque

The Range Rover Evoque draws heavily on style as a selling point, but also possesses the substance to back it up

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Driven this week