Tata Motors has confirmed “The Company is indeed looking at North America as a location for another plant. Where they locate that plant, in which country or which state they locate, is something they will need to decide”. Ratan Tata’s (Tata Motors Boss-Chairman Emeritus) comments may give fuel to the rumors we reported about the Sothern US state of Georgia being a possible location for the new factory. It was reported that officials from Georgia including the Governor had been courting JLR heavily to consider their state as home of a manufacturing plant. Tata’s comments came from a recent Automotive Summit held in Greenville, South Carolina, however he was careful to admit that he was not directly part of the final decision making process on this new plant.
Why build a plant in North America may be the bigger question and as we reported earlier this year, it may be about profit. Building vehicles in the states could help the automaker avoid import tariffs and also reduce loss of profits due to unstable currency rates. Let’s face it, at the end of the working day, profitable gains are important to all automakers. Other reports say it would be to help meet the large global demand for the JLR luxury vehicles.
Mumbai based Tata Motors acquired Jaguar Land Rover from Ford Motor Company in 2008. Last year the first plant opened outside the UK, in Changsu, China and another is being built in Brazil. Currently there is a new trend of foreign automakers using North America to build vehicles; Mercedes-Benz has a plant in Alabama, BMW, Kia, and Volkswagen all have factories in this same region of the southeast US. Automakers depend on financial incentives to attract them to build these plants in North America.
Even though these reports are saying North America we do have to consider that the new plant could also be built in Mexico. Audi already has a plant in Puebla building the Q5 Crossover. No official word has been discussed about what vehicle might be produced at this new plant, but we speculate it might be the new Jaguar F-Pace Crossover.
Stay tuned to Torque News for more details as they arrive.