Report: Jaguar Land Rover Eyeing Austria, Turkey for Expansion

Feb 21, 2015 01:30 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma

While Jaguar Land Rover seemed poised last month to develop a plant in Georgia., the automaker is now aiming to boost production in Austria or Turkey instead, according to the latest report.

Executives are eyeing Turkey and Austria rather than the United States due to lower manufacturing costs, Automotive News reported via the Birmingham Post.

Jaguar Land Rover, which launched a new China plant in October and has plans to expand in Brazil in 2016, has not officially named a spot for its next expansion project.

"No decision has been taken on future manufacturing locations. We will continue to evaluate opportunities to increase our manufacturing footprint in the future, primarily in markets with growth potential and customer demand," a JLR spokeswoman told Automotive News Europe.

While Europe is a more likely scenario than North America, JLR probably won't boost its production in the United Kingdom due to high wages and trade union disputes. The automaker already has three manufacturing facilities in the U.K.

"It is likely that Europe is currently ahead of America," a source told the Birmingham Post.

In 2008, JLR was purchased from Ford by India's Tata Motors, a changeover that has doubled JLR's sales volumes. The automaker is aiming for worldwide sales of more than 500,000 units for 2015, which compares with 462,678 last year.

The company met with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal last month to discuss building a new plant, Bloomberg reported via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter, the newspaper reported that Deal and state economic development commissioner Chris Carr met with Jaguar Land Rover representatives as the automaker scouts locations in the southeast region of the United States.

BMW, Kia and Volkswagen have factories in the South. Porsche's U.S. headquarters are in Atlanta, while Mercedes-Benz is in the middle of transitioning from its Montvale, N.J., base to new digs in Georgia's capital.

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