BRAZIL: JLR will assemble only new models locally
A new Disco Sport on the line in England. It will be JLR's first Brazilian assembled model
Though Jaguar Land Rover executives involved with the automaker in Brazil have learned not to divulge details of future new models or details of launches, some news does slip out.
During the international media launch of the Land Rover Discovery Sport, JLR's general director for business expansion, Phil Hodgkinston, told Brazilian journalists the group’s new factory in Itatiaia, in eastern Rio de Janeiro state, would assemble only all-new models which rules out the Range Rover Evoque, JLR’s top selling model here.
Hodgkinton also said three models eventually would come off the line in Itatiaia, from early next year but gave no timeline or model details.
Until now the subsidiary was said to be "still considering" other model possibilities after confirming the Freelander-replacing Discovery Sport would be the first local product. It's therefore likely to displace the Evoque as JLR’s sales leader in Brazil.
The Jaguar XE has to be a strong contender becuase the rival BMW 3 series is already being assembled here and the Mercedes C Class will follow from a new assembly plant under construction in Itirapina, in São Paulo state.
As for the third model the most likely is the Defender replacement, still to be unveiled, especially if it retails at a price compatible with this emerging market's buying power.
In any case, with a starting capacity of 24,000 units a year and a local plant able to offset the currency fluctuations that affect the cost of fully imported cars, JLR potentially could at least triple sales in Brazil with three locally-built models.