Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is set to invest $167m into a new factory in Saudi Arabia amid plans to produce 100,000 cars a year to meet booming demand in the Middle East, it was reported.
The UK-based luxury car maker is close to signing a deal with the Saudi government to build an assembly factory in the east of the country, according to The Sunday Times newspaper.
The plant will initially make a new version of its popular Land Rover Discovery and is eventually expected to employ 4,000 to 5,000 people.
Addressing an India-Saudi Arabia Business Forum meeting in New Delhi recently, Saudi Minister of Commerce and Industry Tawfiq Al Rabiah said the plant would be located in the Eastern Province, the report added.
The Saudi government is also likely to invest in the new plant with a view to developing the kingdom’s automobile industry.
It would be JLR’s third big foreign expansion after deals to open factories in China and Brazil were finalised. The company is likely to begin by assembling cars from components made in Britain, and progress to taking more parts from Saudi companies.
The Middle East expansion will be another step in the carmaker’s success story since being taken over by the Tata Group in 2008.
Jaguar confirmed a £240m ($401.72m) agreement late last year to build a factory in Rio de Janeiro, and is also opening a plant in China in a $1.67bn joint-venture with the Chinese carmaker Chery.
The Sunday Times said the firm sold a record 425,006 vehicles in 2013, up 19 percent on the previous year.