Ratan Tata hints at JLR assembly plant in Saudi Arabia
Tata group chairman Ratan Tata has said JLR is examining the possibility of setting up an assembly plant in Saudi Arabia to benefit from the upcoming multi-billion integrated aluminium complex in the country, according to a media report.
With JLR going for more aluminium content in its products, Tata said the company could benefit in the long term from "very competitive" aluminium from the project.
Saudi Arabian mining firm Ma'aden, in a joint venture with Alcoa, is undertaking a $10.8 billion project to set up what has been dubbed as the the world's largest vertically integrated aluminium complex.
"This smelter could make the production of aluminum in Saudi Arabia very competitive. So taking a really long-term view, if we put an assembly plant there with a large press shop, given our commitment to aluminum in our products, we could have an interesting business case which we are examining today," Tata told in an interview with Autocar India magazine.
The smelter and rolling mill located at Ras Al Khair is expected to start operations in 2013 while the alumina refinery is slated to be operational by 2014.
Earlier this year, JLR had announced an investment 3.5 billion yuan (over Rs. 2,800 crore) in its joint venture with Chery Automobile in China to commence local assembly there.
The plant is envisaged to have an initial production capacity of 50,000 units per annum.