Jaguar Land Rover will open a new production plant in Brazil at a cost of £240 million.

The new plant, which has already been signed off by Brazilian authorities, will have an annual production capacity of 24,000 vehicles and will intially create 400 jobs in the area.

Construction on the new site will begin in the middle of next year, with the first vehicles expected to roll off the production line from 2016. JLR has confirmed the vehicles produced at the plant will primarily be aimed at the Brazilian market.

It is not yet known which vehicles will be made at the factory, though models such as the Land Rover Freelander replacement are hotly tipped to be among them.

JLR says creating the new plant is part of its plan to "increase [our] global manufacturing footprint and create additional capacity".

CEO of the company Dr Ralf Speth said: "Brazil and the surrounding regions are very important. Customers there have an increasing appetite for highly capable premium products.

“This new programme will enable us to bring exciting new vehicles to them, with outstanding British design and engineering, creating a world-class Jaguar Land Rover facility incorporating leading premium manufacturing technologies.

The company currently has 35 dealers in Brazil, but has plans to expand over the next year. It's best-selling models in the country include the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery.

Earlier this year a job advertisement appeared in the country for a plant quality manager. At the time, the company only confirmed it was having "very intensive discussions" with the Brazilian government.

Unlike JLR’s planned Chinese factory, the company does not need a local partner in order to start manufacturing cars. Speth has been quoted as saying that any factory would begin by assembly vehicles supplied as kits from the UK.

JLR is hot on the heels of Audi and Mercedes; both companies have recently announced plans to open factories in Brazil.

Hilton Holloway & Darren Moss