JLR has announced that it is all set to expand its presence in Saudi Arabia by bringing in aluminum form one of the world’s largest aluminum smelters. After the completion of the letter of intent with the National Industrial Clusters Development Program, Saudi Arabia, the auto maker is expecting to produce components and body panels for its upcoming models, with a new state of the art pressing plant.
CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, Ralf Speth this move will allow the company to obtain cheapest aluminum in the world. It is expected that the memorandum of understanding will be signed anywhere in the middle of next year, before starting production in 2015. JLR has still not confirmed which model it is planning to build in Saudi but the sources have confirmed that the new model will be based on the new Range Rover platform.
Initially the new Range Rover will be sent to the plant as a knocked down model that will allow the program to gain experience before scheduling full production from the country.
The main move behind this decision is to secure uninterrupted, secure, cost effective supply of aluminum as the demand of the metal starts to rise in the global market. It is expected that global fuel economy regulations will be making light weight body panels compulsory for the car industry, this will increase the demand for the aluminum.
Saudi Arabia is most suited for the purpose as it provides both the vital thing required for aluminum, first bauxite i.e. ore from which aluminum is extracted and second cheap power source that is required for production of aluminum.
According to Speth JLR is committed for a lightweight future and its demand for aluminum will be rising as four of the models are based on the aluminum body panels. As per the current JLR roll outs, it is believed that Jaguar Land Rover will be revealing more aluminum based models in coming future. Company has already announced that most of the upcoming Jaguar models will be made from aluminum.