UK: JLR advertises for Brazil plant staff - report
Jaguar Land Rover has not yet officially announced its new assembly plant in Brazil but reportedly has been advertising for staff for it.
According to Autocar, the advert – placed on the company site – said JLR was looking for a plant quality manager for the new facility in Brazil. “Portuguese language skills will be definite advantage,” the ad said. It appears since to have been taken down.
JLR last year shelved plans for Brazilian knocked down kit assembly but CEO Ralph Speth has recently admitted to “very intensive discussions” with the Brazilian government and has been quoted as saying that any factory would begin by assembly vehicles supplied as kits from the UK.
The Brazilian government has recently introduced a new tax regime intended to encourage as much local assembly as possible using as a high a proportion of local parts as available. As well as shortening the finished vehicle supply line, JLR could also reduce prices by avoiding import duty imposed on finished vehicles by assembling its most popular models locally. Recently announced plans by Audi, BMW and, just this week, Mercedes, are also likely to spur JLR's plans.
According to Autocar, Land Rover models account for the vast majority of the company’s Brazilian sales, making the Freelander a contender for South American production. The company already builds the model from KD kits in India in one of parent Tata Motors' assembly plants and also assembles the Jaguar XF there. JLR has also recently committed to production in China.
Separately, the Financial Times quoted Speth as saying: "“We are in very intensive discussions with [Brazil's] government and hopefully we will have a decision as soon as possible.”
“It’s a very interesting market. In Brazil we have a very high market share. With Land Rover we outperform BMW and Audi, and we don’t want to lose that.”
JLR sales in Brazil were up 40% year on year in the first eight months of 2013 and are on track to pass 10,000 by the end of the year, the FT noted.