Jaguar Land Rover looking at assembly plant in Saudi Arabia
The construction of the world’s largest aluminum smelter in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia has prompted Jaguar Land Rover to explore the possibility of setting up assembly operations in the Kingdom.
This multi-billion dollar project, which will integrate aluminium mining, refining and smelting in one expansive complex, is a joint venture between Saudi Arabian Mining company Ma’aden and Alcoa, a global leading producer of primary alumina and also one of JLR’s suppliers. When the smelter and rolling mill begins production, scheduled for 2013, it is expected to be the cheapest and most efficient aluminum producer in the world.
Given Jaguar Land Rover’s focus on increasing aluminum content in its cars, the Tata Motors-owned, British automaker senses a big opportunity in setting up an assembly operation close to this aluminium producing facility.
In an exclusive interview with Autocar India, Tata Motors’ chairman Ratan Tata confirmed. “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.”
The next generation Range Rover, set to debut at the Paris Motor Show later this month, is a strong example of the growing use of aluminum in JLR’s vehicles. The SUV, which is lighter by a whopping 420 kgs than the outgoing model, will be the world’s first aluminum monocoque SUV, that utilises techniques already developed for the aluminium XK and XJ of sister brand Jaguar. Future ‘high-value’ JLR models are likely to be made the same way. The direct benefits of the increased aluminum content will be seen in fuel economy, emissions, performance and agility of the new models. JLR says the benefits in the new Range Rover will be ‘unprecedented’.
Another benefit from setting up an assembly operation in Saudi Arabia could be to tap new opportunities in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. JLR is looking aggressively at markets outside Europe and is said to be ‘working on plans to extend its global production footprint, particularly in Brazil, India and China’.
During the current fiscal year, cumulative sales of Jaguar Land Rover have grown by 36 percent to 110,373 units, with markets like China playing a key contributor to the growth, and business in India posting a small but healthy growth too.
Saudi Arabia, which is part of JLR’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) business region, contributed sales of 1289 units in 2011-12. During the current fiscal, the figure is up 14 percent. The MENA region is Land Rover’s sixth largest market, and the fifth largest for Jaguar globally.
2013 LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER LAUNCHED; INDIA DEBUT TO HAPPEN IN DECEMBER 2012
British luxury SUV marque Land Rover has just launched the latest 2013 Range Rover, an all new fourth generation model of the flagship luxury SUV. The 2013 Range Rover is an all new design and comes with a host of refinements, both on the outside and on the inside. The luxury SUV has been constructed using light weight materials like an all aluminum body structure and this has resulted in weight savings of up to 420 kilograms, which is very remarkable considering the facts that the 2013 Range Rover retains the footprint of the older model while also increasing room on the interiors.
The lower weight also means better performance and fuel economy across the 2013 Range Rover variant range. The 2013 model of the Range Rover sees the introduction of the 3 Liter V6 Turbo Diesel engine outputting 255 Bhp-600 Nm. The bigger, 4.4 Liter SDV8 diesel engine pushes these output figures to 335 Bhp-700 Nm. The Rangie is also offered with a supercharged V8 petrol engine, that makes for the top of the line variant with a 508 Bhp power output. All three engines are mated to an 8 speed automatic transmission, which has been worked upon to be more responsive with shorter gear shift times.
Performance, ostensibly is quite cracking with the base diesel engine propelling the 2013 Rangie to 100 Kph in 7.4 seconds while the high performance supercharged petrol V8 mill achieves the same speed from standstill in 5.1 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 240 Kph given the fact that the Range Rover is still an SUV though the co-efficient of drag on the 4th generation model is lowest ever, at 0.34. Start-Stop system, regenerative braking, low friction engine internals and the electric steering replacing the older hydraulic unit are a few measures to boost fuel economy and cut down on tail pipe carbon emissions.
Full time four wheel drive is standard even as the 2013 Range Rover SUV gets the next generation TerrainResponse system which automatically judges the terrain and adjusts the power distribution to the wheels accordingly. The water wading depth goes up by 200mm to 900mm even as Land Rover claims that the 2013 Range Rover is the most capable Rangie off the road. Suspension has been completely redesigned for a more supple ride even as the redesign improves the Range Rover’s off road characteristics.
Land Rover to invest £370 million to upgrade their facilities
Land Rover has revealed their latest and the most advanced Range Rover yet. 2013 Range Rover is lighter, faster and more efficient. It is lighter than the 2012 Range Rover by 420 kgs, thanks to a lightweight all-aluminium monocoque body structure. The new Range Rover is the fourth generation model of this iconic SUV. According to Land Rover, "The all-new Range Rover is the world's most refined and capable SUV. It is the pinnacle of SUV refinement, with a more spacious and luxurious interior and a truly composed driving experience."
The new Land Rover SUV is designed and engineered at their facility in the UK, while it is manufactured at their new state-of-the-art aluminium manufacturing facility in Solihull, UK. "Launching the all-new Range Rover represents a major milestone for Land Rover, being the first exciting output from an unprecedented investment in premium vehicle technologies," said John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director. Land Rover Range Rover 2013 sales are schedule to commence this month in the UK while in the other 170 global markets, including India, where Land Rover is present, sales will commence later this year.
The new Range Rover will be offered in a choice of four engine options: two diesel and two petrol. Ind diesel, 2013 Range Rover will be offered in 3.0L V6 generating maximum 258 PS power and 600 Nm torque (combined fuel economy 37.7 mpg or 7.7L/100 kms & CO2 emission 196 g/km) while the 4.4L V8 version generates 339 PS and 700 Nm (32.5 mpg or 8.7L/100 kms & 229 g/km). In petrol, 2013 Range Rover will be offered with 5.0L V8 generating 375 PS and 510 Nm (22.1 mpg or 12.8L/100 kms & 299 g/km). A supercharged 5.0L V8 petrol is also offered, generating 510 PS and 625 Nm (20.5 mpg or 13.8L/100 kms & 322 g/km).
Land Rover will also offer a 3.0L V6 diesel hybrid variant of Range Rover 2013, which will be launched later this year. It will have CO2 emissions of jus 169 g/km. Apart from this, at the launch of new Range Rover, Jaguar Land Rover announced that they will be investing £370 million in upgrading their facilities in the UK and the assembly plant in Pune, India.
At the launch in Richmond Park, London, JLR CEO, Ralf Speth said, "Through a 370 million pound investment, we have been able to build the world's first SUV with lightweight all-alumuinium construction, a car that is 20 per cent lighter, with fuel consumption and CO2 emissions reduced by 22 per cent. Jaguar Land Rover is firing on all cylinders, generating export revenues of close to 8 billion pound a year as we meet demand for a model-range that justifies continued expansion in our UK facilities and elsewhere."