It is being reported by financial news websites that just four months after finalising its joint Venture with Chinese auto major Chery Automobile, Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover is starting a feasibility study about opening another overseas plant. Reports suggest that the plant will be in India in either in Pune, Maharashtra, or Sanand, Gujarat, to manufacture the next generation Defender at a rate of 30,000 to 40,000 units per annum.
It is being suggested that the new plant may have an integral engine plant with the capacity to manufacture 50,000 units per annum and that the bulk of the vehicles to be manufactured in India being destined for export. This site will be a separate facility from the existing assembly plant that JLR has at Chikhale near Pune, where it currently assembles the Freelander 2.
The outcome of the feasibility study is expected by the second half of 2012 and the plant may be operational by the middle of 2015. It is noted that various representatives of the the next generation Defender project have visited India several times. It is mooted that JLR is keen to use this as an export hub with almost 80 per cent of the output to be shipped to overseas markets. India, being home to its owners, Tata, could well be JLR's third manufacturing base after the UK and China but the company is also exploring Brazil for a manufacturing base.