It all comes down to the numbers.
Jaguar Land Rover sales are increasing in the U.S., up last year 8.8. percent over 2016. However, 114,333 vehicles sold is still not enough for the British luxury automaker to begin producing vehicles in the U.S., according to Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth who spoke with WardsAuto.
“We need a certain volume of vehicles to be sold in the U.S. to make the overall production in the U.S. viable,” Speth told the publication, adding the company still “very small.”
However, Speth didn’t specify what volume of vehicles would need to be sold in the U.S. before the automaker would begin production in the country. The other issue Jaguar Land Rover is running into is that none of its models stand out in terms of sales. The two best-selling products from the automaker are the Range Rover Sport, selling 19,153 units, and the Jaguar F-Pace that sold 18,946 examples.
“We (now) have 15 or 16 nameplates (and) if you divide every and each number by this 15 or 16 then you will recognize the remaining number per nameplate is not big enough,” the CEO added. “So can you maybe encourage (sales and marketing and dealers) to sell a little bit more from at least one or two nameplates?”
Jaguar Land Rover is also worried about having to export a majority of the vehicles produced in the U.S., which could turn costly for a company that already has factories in the U.K., Austria, Brazil, China, and India, with a new plant slated to open this year in Slovakia.
“If we have to export out of the U.S. 90% or 95% (what we build in a local plant), then you will recognize it never will work from a financial point of view,” Speth said.
If sales for the automaker continue to increase year-over-year, it’s safe to bet the automaker will at least be considering opening a factor in the U.S. However, the company will only do so if the numbers add up positive for the company.