JAGUAR Land Rover has opened its first wholly-owned factory outside of the UK with a new £240 million production plant in Brazil to build the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport.
The factory, which includes an education and business centre, is in Rio de Janeiro and will produce models for the Brazilian market where Land Rover already has a 33 per cent stake of the premium SUV market.
Wolfgang Stadler, JLR's executive director for manufacturing, said: "The opening of Jaguar Land Rover's new world-class facility in Brazil marks the latest exciting milestone in our global expansion."
"Land Rover is already Brazil's market-leader for mid-sized premium SUVs, accounting for more than 30% of all sales in that segment. The Range Rover Evoque and the Land Rover Discovery Sport will now be manufactured for the first time in Latin America, building on their existing popularity with customers in Brazil."
The plant includes Jaguar Land Rover's first overseas Education Business Partnership Centre which will provide a range of classroom activities for up to 12,000 local children each year to will help them to develop key skills, work awareness and inspire them to pursue rewarding careers at Jaguar Land Rover.
The factory, in Itatiaia, is the company's first wholly-owned overseas facility and marks a further phase in its global expansion strategy following the opening of its Chinese joint venture factory in 2014.
Since 2010 JLR has invested more than Â£11 billion in new projects - including the opening of a new engine plant in Wolverhampton in the West Midlands - and now employs more than 38,000 people in the UK.
The company, which is now the largest automotive manufacturer in Britain with factories at Solihull, Castle Bromwich in Birmingham and at Halewood on Merseyside, has seen sales double since 2009 and last year sold a record 487,065 vehicles worldwide.