Jaguar Land Rover Wants To Build Cars In The United States

Industry News

But here's why it hasn't happened yet.

There are many advantages for foreign automakers to produce cars in the United States. President Donald Trump's thoughts are pretty clear on the matter, and he loves it when foreign automakers announce plans to open factories in the US. Toyota and Mazda just joined forces to invest $1.6 billion dollars on a US manufacturing plant, and Wards Auto reports British automaker Jaguar Land Rover is eager to assemble cars here as well. Unfortunately, JLR isn't quite ready to make the investment.

JLR CEO Ralf Speth, said “We are always sitting there (asking of a US vehicle assembly plant) - Can we do it? When can we do it?’" Last year in 2017, JLR sold 114,333 vehicles in the U.S. - an 8.8% increase from 2016. This was not only the company's best ever sales year, it was also the largest leap for any automaker in the US market. Despite the growth, Speth still sees JLR as "a very small company," also noting "we need a certain volume of vehicles to be sold in the US to make the overall production in the US viable.” No exact level of volume was stated as a goal, but other automakers cannot be used as a benchmark.

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Volvo, for instance, sold 81,504 vehicles in the US and is set to build an assembly plant in South Carolina. “Everybody’s business case is different and everybody starts maybe in a different way,” Speth said. “I don’t want to discuss the advantages or disadvantages of Volvo. We really need to find our own way.” JLR currently imports vehicles from its UK plants, as well as contract assembler Magna Steyr in Austria. The company also has plants in Brazil, China and India, as well as an upcoming plant in Slovakia. With new models like the Jaguar E-Pace and I-Pace, JLR could increase its sales enough to justify building cars in the US.

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