The 500,000th Range Rover Evoque has rolled off the production line in Halewood – and Autocar played a small-but-significant role in the building of the landmark vehicle.
The luxury compact SUV is the fastest-selling and most successful Land Rover ever produced, having reached the half-a-million vehicle production mark just over four years since it went on sale.
One in every three Land Rovers sold around the world is an Evoque and the production line at Halewood is in operation 24 hours a day, with a new vehicle coming off the line every 80 seconds.
The 500,000th Evoque - a four-wheel drive, 2.0-litre TD4 in Fuji white - went down the line on the night that Autocar correspondent John Evans was working with the production team for an article in our Best of British issue, in the shops today and available as a digital download here.
Evans was given the responsibility of affixing the all-important ‘Range Rover’ badge to the front of the Evoque’s bonnet.
The Evoque was first shown as the LRX Concept at the Detroit motor show in 2009, and the first production vehicle rolled off of the Halewood production line in 2011. The vehicle was given a thorough refresh in 2015, and this year the new Range Rover Evoque Convertible derivative has been added to the model range.
Gerry McGovern, Land Rover's chief design officer, said: “Evoque has been a huge success for Land Rover winning more than 165 international awards, bringing new customers to the brand and evolving to stay ahead of the competition. With our bold new Evoque Convertible we have broadened the range and will attract even more new customers to the brand.”
The launch of the Evoque marked a major milestone in the transformation of the fortunes of the Halewood manufacturing plant, which also builds the Land Rover Discovery Sport. Halewood received £250m of investment to gear up for production of the Evoque. Its arrival at the Merseyside site prompted the introduction of a third shift and in four years the plant’s workforce trebled and production quadrupled.