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Auto blogFri, 08 Aug 2014 10:16:00 EST
Care for a bit more proof that the Jaguar Land Rover portfolio of vehicles is the best it's ever been? Well, the Indian-owned pair of brands saw a record year in 2013, while 2014 has seen a 14-percent increase in sales. The crazy thing is, though, is that figure could be even higher, provided the company had the production capacity.
JLR is running a six-month waiting list on two of its most popular models, the Range Rover Sport (above) and Range Rover. According to Mark White, the company's chief technologist for body engineering, the blame can be placed on the paint shop at the company's Solihull factory, in the UK.
"We will probably max out the paint shop before we max out the body shop. Putting the second body shop in has given us the flexibility to ebb and flow the different models that go through there and meet the capacity demands we've got," White told Automotive News. "However, you always hit a bottleneck somewhere. And the paint shop is probably going to be the next biggest obstacle."
Is It An Off-Road Adventure Or Just A Walk In The Park?
I remember having to get out and lock hubs and shift into neutral to engage low range.
Coming off press previews of the 2013 Land Rover Range Rover and the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee that involved some heavy-duty off-road rock climbing, I'm simply amazed at the capabilities that these vehicles possess. But even more impressive (or troubling depending on your perspective) is the relative ease with which you can operate these vehicles in seemingly impossible terrain.
Jaguar Land Rover is getting serious about global expansion, and that means it can't only build its vehicles in the UK anymore. The British automaker is cutting the ribbon at its new plant in China tomorrow, marking the opening of its first factory outside the UK. In 2016, it will open another factory in Brazil. But the latest intel has it that JLR is looking into a US factory, as well.
The report, which comes to us from the Sunday Times by way of Automotive News Europe, indicates that the company is evaluating locations for a North American factory, with options centering around Southern right-to-work states like South Carolina, where BMW operates its plant in Spartanburg and a wide array of other automotive operations are based as well. The JLR plant would reportedly ramp up to a capacity of 200,000 units per year.
In related news, while that new plant JLR is inaugurating in Changshu, China, is initially slated to produce the Range Rover Evoque, it is also expected to start building the new Discovery Sport as well - just like the Halewood plant in the UK that has handled Evoque assembly from the start and which just built its first Discovery Sport, as well.