INDIA: Tata considering Saudi JLR assembly plant - reports
Tata Group's Ratan Tata has said his company's UK-based luxury vehicle unit Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is examining the possibility of setting up an assembly plant in Saudi Arabia to benefit from a planned multi-billion integrated aluminium complex in the country.
According to The Hindu, Tata told the Indian edition of Autocar that, with JLR going for more aluminium content in its products, the automaker could benefit in the long-term from “very competitive” aluminium from the project.
Saudi Arabian mining firm Ma’aden, in a joint venture with Alcoa, is undertaking a US$10.8bn project to set up what has been described as the world’s largest 'vertically integrated' aluminium complex.
“This smelter could make the production of aluminium in Saudi Arabia very competitive. So taking a really long-term view, if we put an assembly plant there with a large press shop, given our commitment to aluminium in our products, we could have an interesting business case which we are examining today,” Tata told Autocar India.
The smelter and rolling mill located at Ras Al Khair is expected to start operations in 2013 while the alumina refinery is slated to be operational by 2014. Earlier this year, JLR announced an investment of CNY3.5bn (US$44.6m)) in its joint venture with Chery Automobile in China to commence local assembly there [currently subject to awaited government approval - ed].
The Saudi assembly plant is envisaged to have an initial annual production capacity of 50,000 units, according to the media reports.