JLR starts work on Brazil plant

Vidya Ram London | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on December 02, 2014

The 750-million Brazilian Real factory will produce 24,000 vehicles a year

Construction of Jaguar Land Rover’s third overseas plant began in the Brazilian state of Rio De Janeiro on Tuesday, following a ground breaking ceremony, as part of the company’s plans to continue growing its global sales, and tap into one of the world’s fastest developing premium car markets.

The R$ 750 million (₹1,808 crore ) plant is set to produce 24,000 vehicles a year once it ramps up to full production in 2016, employing around 400 people at the start, and around 1,000 in the supply chain.

“The start of construction today is a significant milestone and represents another step forward in our plans to create a truly global manufacturing footprint,” CEO Ralf Speth said in a statement after the ceremony. JLR is also setting up an education centre to help local school children develop technical skills, and a training programme for unemployed youth. The new Discovery Sport will be one of the first vehicles produced at the new 60,000 sq m facility in Itatiaia.

JLR estimates that it currently holds around 50 per cent of the premium SUV market in Brazil. Brazil has been one of JLR’s fastest growing markets, with sales in 2013 reaching 10,952, a 30 per cent rise on the year before. (JLR sold 425,006 cars in 2013 globally).

Global footprint

JLR has gradually been expanding its international manufacturing footprint, setting up a 130,000-car-capacity joint venture with Chinese automaker Chery earlier this year. It has an assembly plant near Pune. JLR will join other premium carmakers in setting up production facilities in Brazil to meet growing demand in the market, and respond to regulatory changes introduced by the government in 2012, which raised the tax on imports (across a number of sectors) while offering tax breaks for those that manufactured domestically. “In Brazil we have enjoyed a very successful market share with the Land Rover and with changes in regulation we felt that it was best to produce down there to protect our customer base and business,” said executive director Mike Wright during a round table in October.

JLR will join BMW, which is set to complete construction of a 30,000 capacity plant in Brazil in 2015, while Audi has announced it will also re-start production in the country after a gap of eight years.

Published on December 02, 2014
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