JLR considers building more cars abroad to maintain growth

Posted on 6 Mar 2013

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) have confirmed that they will not expand their overseas production capacity at least until their new factory in Shanghai comes online.

JLR will continue to target demand in high growth markets such as China and India to continue round-the-clock manufacturing in the UK.

JLR has ridden a huge boom in emerging market demand to post record profits in recent quarters, and is building its first overseas factory in China, its largest market. The company is also conducting a feasibility study into building an aluminum production facility in Saudi Arabia.

“Our first priority is China,” Chief Executive Ralf Speth told Reuters in an interview at the Geneva Motor Show. “And then we can do one of the other steps.”

“We have to do it in a certain sequence. Starting a plant is not just about higher volumes,” Speth added. “Decisions can be made, but there’s a certain timescale we have.”

An increased presence in India would be an important part of the UK carmaker’s growth plans, Speth said. “India will give us huge opportunities,” he said. “We have to think how maybe we can increase our assembly there.”

JLR already assembles the Land Rover Freelander 2 and the Jaguar XF at their plant in Pune, India, using parts manufactured in Britain.

Amid a slowdown in Europe’s car market caused by the recession and continuing Euro-zone crisis, JLR has bucked the industry trend, running its plants on 24-hour shifts and increasing investment and jobs.

“There are areas which really can grow. Turkey, Eastern Europe, for example, we can leverage,” Speth said. “Therefore, we have a huge network development to fuel this volume.”


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