LONDON -- Luxury carmaker Jaguar Land Rover announced plans on Friday to open a £240-million manufacturing plant in Brazil. JLR said that it would invest the equivalent of $390 million or 290 million euros to establish a new plant in the city of Itatiaia in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
The plant, which will initially employ 400 people, will have a capacity to produce 24,000 vehicles per year. The number of staff is expected to almost double by the end of 2020.
Construction will begin in mid-2014 and the first cars will roll off the assembly line in 2016, added JLR, which is owned by India's Tata Motors.
"Brazil and the surrounding regions are very important. Customers there have an increasing appetite for highly capable premium products," said JLR chief executive Ralf Speth.
"This new program will enable us to bring exciting new vehicles to them, with outstanding British design and engineering, creating a world-class Jaguar Land Rover facility incorporating leading premium manufacturing technologies."
In the first 10 months of 2013, the company sold 9,459 cars in Brazil, an increase of more than 40% over the same period last year.
Tata Motors bought Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motor in 2008 for $2.3 billion as part of plans to expand its reach beyond Asia.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013