India abroad: Tata JLR plans plant in US
Tata Motors' owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is working on an ambitious plan to set up a factory in the US, in a first for a British carmaker in the world's second-biggest automobile market.
The West Midlands-based luxury carmaker is reportedly talking to several southern states of America, including South Carolina, about building a plant in the US, The Sunday Times report claimed.
JLR is capitalising on a turnaround in its fortunes after Tata acquired the struggling brand for around 1.3 billion pounds back in 2008. It is all set to open a 130,000-vehicle factory in China on Tuesday and later this month will launch its i54 engine plant in Wolverhampton — a 500-million-pound investment. It has also signed a deal for a new factory in Brazil and is exploring three possible locations in Wales for a new logistics hub, though it is also considering a site in the Midlands.
Selling directly into the US would allow JLR to avoid high import tariffs and smooth the impact of
fluctuating currency rates. The newspaper believes it would probably receive significant start-up support from the chosen state, and could commit itself to building a factory that will eventually produce 200,000 cars a year.
The company has also been exploring the possibility of opening a factory in Mexico. JLR sold about 55,000 cars in North America last year, an eighth of its 425,000 global sales.