Throughout its history, Land Rover has, at times, built vehicles in overseas markets where it was deemed advantageous to do so for one reason or another. Past schemes have existed in Australia, South Africa, Spain, Morocco, Iran, and Belgium, and likely others. Currently, they operate vehicle and engine manufacturing plants in China, Brazil, and India, for exclusive sale in those markets. They have other plans to open plants in foreign countries such as Ireland, Austria, and Slovakia, but those vehicles wouldn't be limited to those countries.
Land Rover CKD Assembly in South Africa, ca. 1972
Now, according to reports, the bosses at Land Rover parent company, Jaguar Land Rover, are eyeballing their next overseas destination: North Carolina. Yes, folks, you heard that correctly. North Carolina. According to UK consul-general, Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford, Land Rover is again looking to open a North American facility.
If such a plan were to come to fruition, JLR would be North Carolina's first automaker. Other manufacturers have passed up the state's bids to locate their plants there because other states have a better supply chain. But according to Pilmore-Belford, Land Rover would be bringing in its own suppliers and that wouldn't be an issue.
North Carolina has already established strong trade relations with the UK, currently dominated by pharmaceuticals, chemicals and aerospace products and parts. In 2016, North Carolina exports to the UK equaled $1.3 billion– up from $902 million in 2015.
Jaguar Land Rover had considered U.S. and Mexico locations for past expansions but opted to build factories in China and Slovakia instead. Company officials have acknowledged the importance of North American based manufacturing towards overall success in the US market. They've also stated that JLR would need to be able to identify a single model that could be reasonably expected to sell 30,000 to 40,000 units in order to make US-based plant viable.
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