Jaguars, Land Rovers May Be Built in Saudi Arabia


  • 2012 Jaguar XFR Picture

    2012 Jaguar XFR Picture

    Jaguar Land Rover is considering a plan to build vehicles in Saudi Arabia. | December 11, 2012

Just the Facts:
  • Jaguar Land Rover confirmed on Tuesday that it is considering building vehicles in Saudi Arabia as demand grows in the Middle East for its products.
  • The British automaker, owned by India-based Tata Motors, also said access to aluminum is part of the reason for considering a facility in the desert.
  • Jaguar Land Rover said an aluminum smelting plant set to open in Saudi Arabia in 2014 creates "potential opportunities for the automotive sector."

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Jaguar Land Rover confirmed on Tuesday that it is considering building vehicles in Saudi Arabia as demand grows in the Middle East for its products.

The British automaker, owned by India-based Tata Motors, also said access to aluminum is part of the reason for considering a facility in the desert.

Jaguar Land Rover said an aluminum smelting plant set to open in Saudi Arabia in 2014 creates "potential opportunities for the automotive sector."

Jaguar Land Rover has been using more aluminum in its vehicles to cut weight and meet emissions regulations around the world. It touts the aluminum body in the 2013 Jaguar XJ, saying it offers improved fuel consumption and reduced emissions. The 2013 Range Rover also uses an aluminum monocoque body structure.

"The weight saved by the use of aluminum — an average of (330 pounds) compared to its rivals — also has benefits for performance and agility," said Jaguar Land Rover in a statement about the 2013 Jaguar XJ.

But aluminum is a finite resource and automakers have been scrambling to gain access to it.

Jaguar Land Rover said a study is underway to consider Saudi Arabia as a "possible future location for a Jaguar Land Rover automotive facility." A decision is expected in a year or two.

The automaker said that sales in the Middle East and North Africa have increased by more than 9 percent to 11,418 units in the current calendar year.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an attractive potential development option, complementing our existing advanced facilities in Britain and recent manufacturing plans to expand in other countries including India and China," said Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover chief executive, in a statement.

Edmunds says: This potential move has product implications, as Jaguar Land Rover clearly intends to make the use of aluminum a hallmark of its lineup.

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