Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is planning to invest 100 million pounds into a new factory in Saudi Arabia to make 100,000 cars a year to meet the booming demand in the Middle East region. The UK-based luxury car maker is close to signing a deal with the Saudi government to build an assembly factory in the east of the country, according to ‘The Sunday Times’. The plant will initially make a new version of its popular Land Rover Discovery and is eventually expected to employ 4,000-5,000 people. It will be JLR’s third big foreign expansion after deals to open factories in China and Brazil were finalised. The Saudi government is also expected to invest in the plant as it seeks to develop its automotive industry.
The company is likely to begin by assembling cars from components made in Britain, and progress to taking more parts from Saudi companies. The Middle East expansion will be another step in the car maker’s success story since being taken over by the Tata Group in 2008. A new 500 million pounds engine plant in the West Midlands is set to begin production next year. Jaguar confirmed a 240 million pounds agreement late last year to build a factory in Rio de Janeiro, and is also opening a plant in China in a 1 billion pounds joint-venture with the Chinese car maker Chery. The firm sold a record 425,006 vehicles in 2013, up 19 per cent on a year earlier, setting new sales records in 38 markets and recording strong growth across all the big regions.