If a British car is built in China under direction from its corporate headquarters in India, is it still British?
That’s the question facing Jaguar Land Rover, as the company will officially start building vehicles outside its Coventry headquarters next month.
Would a “Made in China” sticker affect your decision to buy a Jaguar? How about a Land Rover built in the United States?
Both are possible now that JLR is expanding its production overseas.
Its new plant in Changshu, China, is the result of a $1.8-billion joint venture between JLR and local automaker Chery. It covers some 4.3-million square feet and will, once at peak capacity, produce 130,000 units specifically for the Chinese market, where JLR sells over 100,000 vehicles each year to make it the company’s single largest market worldwide.
Production will start with the Land Rover Evoque and eventually include the Chinese market XF. That means those of us in the U.S. won’t get Chinese-built Jaguars or Land Rovers. Ours could be built right here in the United States.
Tata is in talks with several Southern states to build a factory that could produce up to 200,000 vehicles per year. That’s a bit ambitious, as JLR currently sells about 55,000 cars per year here.
The Economic Times said that Tata
has also signed a deal for a new factory in Brazil and is exploring three possible locations in Wales for a new logistics hub, though it is also considering a site in the Midlands.
Selling directly into the US would allow JLR to avoid high import tariffs and smooth the impact of fluctuating currency rates.
The days of buying a Jaguar or Land Rover built in the UK are numbered. To survive in this new world market, though, automakers simply must build cars where they sell them. If it’s important that your next Jaguar or Land Rover is built in Britain, now might be a good time to stock up.
Are you more likely to buy a Jaguar or Land Rover if it’s built in the United States?