June 15 marked the grand opening of Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) plant in Itatiaia, Brazil, outside of Rio de Janeiro. We first reported on the company’s plans in October 2014. Although JLR has manufacturing facilities in partnership with local companies in China, the Itatiaia plant is the company’s first wholly owned manufacturing facility outside of the U.K. and the first British-owned automotive assembly plant in Latin America. The plant’s relatively modest 24,000-unit annual production capacity is aimed at primarily serving the Brazilian and other South American markets. Land Rover products are among the most popular in Brazil in the SUV segment. The plant will build the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport for local buyers.
The plant includes an Education Business Partnership Centre providing a range of classroom activities for up to 12,000 local children from ages 5 to 18. The courses are focused on engineering, manufacturing, and automotive-related areas. More than 100 people have completed the “Inspiring Tomorrow’s Workforce” program, and 12 are currently employed at the plant. The plant is aiming to achieve LEED Gold certification, which would make it the only auto assembly plant in Brazil to earn the distinction. JLR will source major components from local suppliers, including seats, cockpit, exhaust, chassis, and powertrain assembly. The plant also features a rainwater collection system and has more than 1,200 indigenous trees which were planted surrounding the facility.
Source: Land Rover