Jaguar Land Rover & the Globalization of Auto
If you want a sense of the nature of the global nature of this business, consider last week’s announcement from Jaguar Land Rover. It is undertaking the construction of a $1.5-billion manufacturing facility.
Building vehicles in Halewood
Jaguar Land Rover is, ostensibly, a British company. According to JLR, it is “one of the UK’s largest exporters.” It has four manufacturing facilities in the UK, with its engine manufacturing center in Wolverhampton; assembly plant in Castle Bromwich for the Jaguar XF, XJ and F-TYPE; assembly plant in Halewood for the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport; and assembly plant in Solihull for the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Land Rover Discovery, Land Rover Defender, and Jaguar XE.
But both Jaguar and Land Rover had been owned by Ford, a U.S. company. Ford bought Jaguar in 1989 and Land Rover in 2000. It then sold both to Tata Motors, an Indian company, in 2008. Tata put the two together to form JLR.
The new plant, which will build a range of all-new JLR aluminum-intensive vehicles, which will have an initial capacity of 150,000 units per year, and which is scheduled to go into production in late 2018 is located in the city of Nitra. That’s in western Slovakia.
Said Dr. Ralf Speth, chief executive officer, Jaguar Land Rover, "Jaguar Land Rover is delighted today to welcome Slovakia into our family. The new factory will complement our existing facilities in the UK, China, India and Brazil and marks the next step in the company’s strategy to become a truly global business.”
Speth, incidentally, started his career at BMW. A German company.
According to Kunihiro Hoshi, chief engineer for the GX 470: “Three of my top goals were to create a body-on-frame vehicle with sweeping off-road performance and unibody-like on-road capability, and, of course, it had to meet the Lexus quality standard.” He met his goals. But why would anyone want to bang this vehicle around on rocks?
Additive manufacturing (AM) is just one manufacturing method that drives advanced mobility forward and also has a history of embracing the digital connectivity demanded by this trend.
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