A few days ago, it was reported that Jaguar Land Rover favored Europe over North America as the location of its new manufacturing facility. On Tuesday, it was confirmed that the British automaker is still looking to build a factory in the region. The confirmation came from a reliable source—the chairman emeritus of Tata Motors, the Indian company that owns the luxury carmaker.
In the South Carolina Automotive Summit, Ratan Tata (pictured) told Automotive News that JLR is indeed considering building another plant in North America. As to where the factory would actually be built, Tata said that the location is something that is yet to be decided. He mentioned that he is not included in the decision-making process regarding the plant’s site.
Tata did not specify where JLR was looking and did not say whether the automaker is also considering locations in other parts of the world.
Tata’s statements also confirm an earlier report from Bloomberg and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The news outlets reported that JLR representatives met with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal in January to discuss plans of building a facility in the state. A spokeswoman for the governor declined to comment on the meeting.
In October, the Sunday Times reported that JLR was involved in discussions with some U.S. Southern states regarding financial support for a production plant. The British newspaper said that one of the states JLR was considering was South Carolina. The automaker is reportedly planning to build a plant that produces 200,000 vehicles a year.
This report was then refuted by a recent Birmingham Post article. Citing an unnamed source, the British broadsheet reported that JLR is now considering constructing the plant in Austria and Turkey instead of North America. Lower costs in the aforementioned countries were said to have swayed JLR’s decision.
While JLR is thinking about possible site locations, its parent company is thinking about making key changes on its Nano car. Tata also revealed during the interview that Tata Motors is planning to change the “cheap” image of its city car. Since it reached the market in 2009 with a sticker price of approximately $2,500, the Nano has been considered the cheapest car in the world. Tata admitted the cheapest car image was not always beneficial—he said that some buyers did not want to be associated with the car because others would think they did not have money.
According to Tata, the new-generation Nano may not only come with a higher price tag, but also a bigger engine and more global appeal.
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