Jaguar Land Rover could move some production to developing markets such as Russia, China and Brazil.
In line with plans to increase production to 300,000 cars a year JLR hopes to produce additional volume in its key emerging markets. This could also sidestep import tarrifs in countries such as China, which would damage profit margins.
David Smith, JLR’s chief executive, announced the plans at a fringe meeting at the Tory party conference yesterday.
“A couple of weeks ago I announced a whole new business plan for the company. It is going to require multi-billion pound investments over the next five to ten years. I’m sure this is going to be one of the largest manufacturing investments any company makes in the UK.
“It means developing our product portfolio, environmental innovations, our export markets. We will need to manufacture some products overseas. If we are to get over 100 per cent tariff barriers in places like China, we will have to manufacture in China.”
Last month JLR said it will close one of its plants in the West Midlands by the middle of the next decade as part of its revised business plan. However a company spokeswoman told Autocar any overseas production is additional and would not replace UK production.
“What we are saying is that as we grow our business with new models and new investment, in key developing markets such as Brazil, India, China and Russia, we may look at options for local manufacturing.”