If you build it, they will come. From the moment we saw the Land Rover LRX Concept back in 2008, it looked like a hit to us. Thankfully, the Evoque made it to production looking remarkably similar to the LRX Concept. While Land Rover’s previous attempts in the small SUV/Crossover segment have largely flopped, the Evoque offers something entirely different. Case in point: it is the first Land Rover to be powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder.
Normally, we’d call that a dilution of the brand, but somehow LR pulls it off. Reports also say the car retains off-road capability far above other car-based crossovers in it segment. The Evoque is stylish, unique and refined inside and out – we particularly like the three-door model, despite its distinct lack of practicality. It may not serve much of a purpose, but hey since when did that stop anything from being a hit?
At least with the five-door model, buyers agree with us – LR is reporting that it is hiring 1,000 new factory workers in order to keep up with demand. The Evoque is produced at the company’s Halewood plant in the United Kingdom. Haelwood also produces the LR2, and employs a total of 4,500 workers. At three eight-hour shifts, the plant is running at near-capacity and around the clock.
The new hirings are a boon to the local economy, and Land Rover says the boost in workers will help to contribute to even more jobs at suppliers and other supporting businesses. So congratulations to Land Rover on the success of the Evoque. We’d like to see more manufacturers taking design risks like this. Over the next few years, Land Rover looks poised for a lot of future growth thanks to new, less-expensive models and a replacement for the Defender on its way. If they are all executed to the level of the Evoque we’re expecting good things indeed.