According to Richard Else, Land Rover’s UK factory operations director, the opening of the first plant outside of its home country is not going to affect production in Britain.
Land Rover recently opened its first overseas plant, in the Chinese city Changshu, about 110km (70 miles) northwest of Shanghai. The facility has an annual output capacity of 130,000 units and the first model to be produced there is the Range Rover Evoque. The Land Rover Discovery Sport, which replaced this year the Freelander model, is most likely the second vehicle to be assembled in the Chinese factory in the near future.
Meanwhile, Land Rover’s main production factory is in Halewood, northwest England, where both models are produced – in a pace of 180,000 units per year. Else says that opening the plant is not going to cut into Evoque’s British production, as the expansion of the SUV segment in China and other regions means both plants would function at nominal capacity.
The Changshu factory, a $1.8 billion investment is Jaguar Land Rover’s first full-scale plant not located in the UK and was built together with local joint venture partner Chery Automobile. Bob Grace, the China unit chief, says the Land Rover brand mulls a 10% market share in the SUV segment, with the Evoque the best-selling model in the world’s largest auto market.
Via Automotive News Europe