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Land Rover looks to Saudi Arabia

Land Rover looks to Saudi Arabia
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Jaguar Land Rover is looking at setting up a car plant in Saudi Arabia.

The Indian owned British luxury car maker has signed a preliminary deal with Saudi Arabia to build fifty thousand Land Rover vehicles there each year.

JLR, which began construction of a factory in China last month, says it is studying the viability of facilities for aluminium component production in Saudi Arabia.

JLR, owned by India’s Tata Motors, has seen huge demand over the past year from emerging markets such as China, Russia and countries in the Middle East for its luxury SUVs and sleek sedans, offsetting sluggish growth in developed markets.

The British car maker expects to announce further plans in Saudi Arabia next year, it said, adding that levels of investment had not been discussed in detail and the discussions were at “a preliminary stage.”

“We are committed to further international partnerships to meet record demand for our highly sought after vehicles,” Ralf Speth, JLR chief executive officer said in the statement. “If we proceed, it will complement our existing expansion in the UK and elsewhere.”

The factory will start up in 2017 in either the Jubail or Yanbu industrial cities, a Saudi Arabian commerce and industry ministry statement said. Saudi Arabia is seeking to develop local industry to diversify its economy away from oil exports.