Thursday 5 December 2013

JLR to build vehicles in Brazil

JaguarLandRover (JLR) is to open a manufacturing facility in Brazil following a landmark agreement between the company and state authorities to build a plant in the State of Rio de Janeiro.

An agreement paving the way for construction of the plant, the first by a British company, has been signed by Phil Hodgkinson, JLR’s global business expansion director, and Sergio Cabral, state governor of Rio de Janeiro.

Based in the City of Itatiaia, the new facility requires an investment of £240 million by 2020.

JLR’s planned expansion into Brazil is the next major step in the company’s strategy to increase its global manufacturing footprint and create additional capacity. This new facility will play an important role in supporting the significant growth opportunity identified in Brazil and across other South American markets.  

Dr. Ralf Speth, JLR’s chief executive officer, said: “Brazil and the surrounding regions are very important. Customers there have an increasing appetite for highly capable premium products. This new programme will enable us to bring exciting new vehicles to them, with outstanding British design and engineering, creating a world-class JLR facility incorporating leading premium manufacturing technologies.

“We have established excellent working relationships with the State of Rio de Janeiro, the City of Itatiaia and the Rio de Janeiro State Industrial Development Company. We look forward to attracting new customers to our business in this important market.”  

Construction of the premium manufacturing facility begins in the middle of next year. The first vehicles will come off the assembly line a year later, subject to the final approval of the plans from the Brazilian Federal Government under its Inovar-auto Programme.

The new plant will have a capacity to build 24,000 vehicles annually for the Brazilian market and initially will employ almost 400 people. This number will double by the end of the decade. This new manufacturing facility will also create additional jobs across the local supply chain network.

Following a detailed feasibility study, JLR selected the city of Itatiaia, close to the heart of the emerging Regional Automotive Zone, due to its excellent logistics links, access to the local supplier base and skilled workforce.

Sergio Cabral said: "The choice of Rio de Janeiro to host JLR’s new facility is another historic achievement for our state. We offer perfect conditions to JLR to install its plant in Brazil, as we have an automotive hub in the South Fluminense region that concentrates qualified labour and important suppliers. It is a privilege to welcome this great group……and we are confident that this agreement will bring to Brazil extraordinary results."

JLR has had a presence in the Brazilian market for over 20 years. Its national sales company in Sao Paulo employs 100 people and currently there are 35 dealers across Brazil with further expansion planned in the next year.

So far in 2013, JLR sales in Brazil have increased over 40% to 9,549 vehicles over the 10-month period. The best-selling models in Brazil are Range Rover Evoque, Freelander and Discovery.   

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