Land Rovers - the most capable four-wheel drive vehicles in the world - are to be assembled in the Kingdom of Jordan, following a landmark agreement between Amman-based Olé Automotive Trading Co. and the British 4x4 manufacturer Land Rover.

Under the terms of the agreement a new assembly plant will be built in Jordan in which Land Rover Defenders will be manufactured from CKD kits shipped from Land Rover's Solihull factory in the UK. Over 5,000 vehicles will initially be produced.

Jordan was one of the earliest international markets to take delivery of Land Rovers when the company's first supremely capable off-roader was launched 52 years ago, but it is the first time in the history of the legendary British brand that vehicles will be constructed in Jordan.

CKD - Completely Knocked Down - refers to the kit form in which the Land Rovers will arrive at the new facility. The establishment of CKD in Jordan is a boost for the automotive industry both in terms of the jobs it will create and the income that will be generated locally from sales and the re-export market.

A considerable investment is going into the new facility, which is expected to be in operation from Quarter four 2001. A further boost is Land Rover's announcement that it is to investigate and assist with the development of the local manufacture of vehicle components in Jordan by Jordanian companies, leading to the creation of hundreds more jobs. Land Rover will train Jordanian employees to produce the vehicles and run the facility.

Initial production runs will be of Land Rover Defender 110's - the iconic 110 inch wheel base utility vehicles that cover a wide spectrum of customer needs. The Land Rover family also includes Freelander, Discovery and Range Rover.

Khalid Shaheen, Group Chairman and CEO of Olé Automotive Trading Co., said: "We are delighted to announce in partnership with Land Rover the creation of a new Land Rover CKD facility in Jordan.

"We are all extremely grateful to His Majesty King Abdullah II for his vision and for delivering an economic climate to make today's announcement possible," added Shaheen.

Richard Haigh, Director, International Importer Markets, Land Rover, said: "This project is a milestone, which everyone at Land Rover is extremely proud of and excited about."

Bill Begg, Regional Director of Land Rover in the Middle East, said: "Land Rover is proud to be working closely with the authorities in the Kingdom of Jordan and Olé Automotive Trading Co. towards the establishment and successful operation of the first CKD facility in the Kingdom."

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