Tata confirms Jaguar's US production plan

Ratan Tata, former chairman of Tata Sons, has confirmed Jaguar Land Rover, luxury vehicle arm of Tata Motors, is looking for a factory site in North America.

He said so to Automotive News, while a guest at the South Carolina Automotive Summit. Earlier this month, JLR executives met the governor of Georgia in the US to discuss setting up a new factory in the state, a local newspaper had reported.

The company is close to exhausting the production capacity at its factories in Britain, due to robust demand for almost all its products. Over past months, Jaguar and Land Rover had to overlook the US market and re-route supplies to China, where products fetch more than twice the price charged in the US.

Even so, the US remains one of the top three markets for JLR, with 17 per cent of its total sales. Sources say the proposed US plant is targeted for a capacity of 100,000 units a year. JLR's present capacity in the UK is 450,000-500,000.

The China joint venture began production last October and is slated to add 130,000 units a year.

A small facility in Brazil will have a capacity of 24,000 units a year.

JLR also has small assembly operations in India and plans to set up a new facility in Saudi Arabia.

German luxury car maker BMW opened a plant in the Us in 1994 and another rival, Mercedes-Benz, began building sports utility vehicles there in 1997.
ROVING ALL OVER
Earlier this month, JLR executives met the governor of Georgia in the US to discuss setting up a factory, a local newspaper had reported The company is close to exhausting the production capacity at its factories in Britain, due to robust demand for almost all its products