Initial capacity will be 24,000 vehicles a year

Jaguar Land Rover to start Brazil output in 2016

Initial capacity will be 24,000 vehicles a year

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RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) -- Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed it plans to invest 750 million reais ($318 million) to build a factory in Brazil with a capacity of 24,000 vehicles a year.

The luxury unit of India's Tata Motors said in a statement that production should begin in 2016. Construction of the factory, which will be in the state of Rio de Janeiro and the city of Itatiaia, is set to start next year.

Jaguar Land Rover has about 53 percent of Brazil's luxury SUV market and plans to sell 10,000 vehicles next year compared with about 8,000 last year. Through 10 months, Jaguar Land Rover's Brazilian sales have increased by more than 40 percent to 9,549. The best-selling models in Brazil are the Range Rover Evoque, Freelander and Discovery.

JLR initially will use the factory to meet demand in Brazil before eventually considering exports to neighboring countries, the company's most senior executive in the region, Flavio Padovan, told journalists at a press conference.

The automaker said the plant is a major step in its strategy to increase its global manufacturing footprint and create additional capacity.

"Brazil and the surrounding regions are very important," JLR CEO Ralf Speth said in the statement. "Customers there have an increasing appetite for highly capable premium products."

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