Jaguar Land Rover eyes Brazil expansion: FT

LONDON Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:15pm EDT

1 of 2. Joseph Lau, general manager of Jaguar Land Rover Hong Kong, introduces Jaguar XJ Ultimate, the most luxurious Jaguar sedan ever made by the British automotive manufacturer with a retail price of four million Hong Kong dollars ($515,000), during a news conference at its showroom in Hong Kong May 24, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip

LONDON (Reuters) - Tata Motors (TAMO.NS) is in talks with Brazilian authorities about setting up a plant to assemble Jaguar Land Rover's (JLR) Freelander four-by-fours, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

Once assured that it can produce cars in sufficient volume, Jaguar Land Rover will then look at setting up a plant in Brazil, which is on track to become the world's third-biggest car market, the FT said.

"We thought about setting up a plant or assembly line, but you need a critical mass of volume. Therefore, we are talking to government about how this kind of step can be made for a small company like us," the FT quoted JLR chief executive, Ralf Speth, as saying.

The British luxury brand, which Tata bought for $2.3 billion in 2008, produces the bulk of its cars at three plants in England.

JLR's growth in overseas markets has helped insulate Tata from a sluggish domestic car market which grew just 2.2 percent in the last financial year.

(Reporting by Stephen Mangan; editing by Gunna Dickson)

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