Land Rover#;s Freelander SUV is now being assembled in Thailand. It is the first time that the Freelander has been made in CKD (completely knocked down) kit form though the company already makes CKD versions of the Defender and the Discovery.

 Land Rover#;s CKD operation began as a means of selling vehicles in countries where trade or tax barriers made their prices excessive in imported ‘completely built-up#; (CBU) form. Kits of major components are shipped from Land Rover#;s manufacturing plant in Solihull to the developing country, where assembly takes place, usually using some locally-sourced parts.

 The launch in Bangkok follows six months of planning and preparation by a team of specialists from Land Rover and local component suppliers in Thailand. 

Since 1949 Land Rover has made almost 400,000 CKD kits. The launch of the new facilities in Thailand brings the total number of overseas assembly plants to eight, with those in Turkey, Brazil and South Africa expected to make over 1,000 units each this year. 

The Freelander CKD programme is managed by Land Rover#;s International Manufacturing operation, which will also provide technical and quality assurance support to the assembly plant in Thailand.

The Freelander CKD models will be built on dedicated body framing and final assembly lines at the Premier Automotive Group Volvo plant near Bangkok. Other manufacturing resources and facilities, including the paint shop, will be shared with Volvo products, assuring that both brands benefit from the operating efficiencies.

Marketing and distribution of the vehicle will be operated through Land Rover Thailand, with sales targeted at about 600 units a year.