Jaguar Land Rover announces new manufacturing operations in Austria
Jaguar Land Rover has agreed a manufacturing partnership with Magna Steyr, an operating unit of Magna International Inc, to build some future vehicles in Graz, Austria.
With plans already in place to take Jaguar Land Rover's three vehicle manufacturing plants in the UK close to their operating capacity, the collaboration with Magna Steyr will create additional volumes needed to support the company's plans to achieve further growth.
Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover's Chief Executive Officer, said: "The UK remains at the centre of our design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities. Partnerships such as this will complement our UK operations and engineering.
"Today marks another step in building our global footprint. This agreement will allow us to expand our award-winning model range as customers around the world demand ever-more innovative vehicles from Jaguar Land Rover."
Over the past five years, Jaguar Land Rover has doubled sales to more than 462,000 vehicles, doubled employment to more than 35,000 people and invested more than £10 billion in new product creation and capital expenditure. During this time, the company has invested heavily in its UK vehicle manufacturing facilities at Castle Bromwich, Halewood and Solihull to support the introduction of 10 all-new vehicles, including the Jaguar XE, Jaguar F-TYPE, Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport.
With more than 100 years' experience, Magna Steyr has extensive contract manufacturing expertise working with many car manufacturers globally.
"The signing of this contract with Jaguar Land Rover reflects the trust in our capability and heritage as a vehicle contract manufacturer," said Günther Apfalter, President Magna Steyr and Magna International Europe. "The partnership with Jaguar Land Rover brings a new customer to our Graz plant. As always, we will work with our fullest commitment and dedication to ensure that we meet our customer's high expectations."
Jaguar Land Rover is strengthening its international manufacturing presence with the opening of its joint venture factory in China and the construction of its new plant in Brazil is underway. The expansion of its international manufacturing operations allows Jaguar Land Rover to develop an increasingly flexible, agile and efficient global manufacturing strategy.
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.