The British premium automaker opened its first wholly-owned car manufacturing plant outside of the United Kingdom.
In 2013, Jaguar Land Rover looked with much more confidence towards the Brazilian auto market and announced it would invest 750 million reais (215.2 million dollars) to build its first car plant outside UK. However, the region has entered into a deep economic crisis that made the new-car sales plunge. This week though, the automaker official opened its new facility there, in Itatiaia, where it plans to build Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport SUVs. Even if the factory has a maximum annual capacity of 24,000 vehicles, it will produce less than 10,000 units this year. “The opening of Jaguar Land Rover’s new world-class facility in Brazil marks the latest exciting milestone in our global expansion,” Wolfgang Stadler, Executive Director, Manufacturing, said. “Land Rover is already Brazil’s market-leader for mid-sized premium SUVs, accounting for more than 30% of all sales in that segment.”
The automaker has also committed to source major components such as the seats, cockpit, exhaust, chassis and powertrain assembly from local suppliers including Benteler and IAC. In addition, it has invested in its technical assistance services “to help suppliers support increased levels of localisation in the future.” Regarding the difficulties of the local market, JLR said it managed to increase its sales by 11 percent in Brazil in the first five months of this year. JLR opened its first oversees facility back in 2014 in China, alongside its joint venture partner Chery, but the Brazilian site near Rio de Janeiro is the company’s first fully-owned car plant that is not located in UK.