Speculation is rife in the car industry that Tata owned Jaguar Land Rover may be on the verge of opening a major new manufacturing base in South Africa, according the Department of Trade and Industry. The company is buoyant after a 91 per cent year on year sales increase in China in the second quarter.

“No formal confirmation” had yet been received said Nimrod Zalk, deputy director-general for industrial development at the DTI. An announcement is due to be made at the Paris motor show which opens this weekend. Zalk added that his department were “aware of potential interest in Land Rover production in South Africa”.

Kevin Flynn MD of Jaguar Land Rover SA, said there was an “ongoing discussion” about establishing a production facility in South Africa. This would represent the first all-new car maker to set up in South Africa since 1995.

The South African government has incentive schemes to attract investment in vehicle manufacturing. These include the Automotive Production and Development Plan and the Automotive Investment Scheme.

But there has been criticism of these schemes, which in the case of the Automotive Investment Scheme only attracts incentives and rebates when production reaches 50,000 vehicles a year.

Kevin Flynn suggested that the “government has a methodology of attracting that level of production. How do you produce opportunities below the 50,000 mark?” He asked.


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