Jaguar Land Rover opened its first fully-owned manufacturing site outside the U.K.. The plant, located near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will build the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport.
The plant will build upon the JLR’s growing presence in the nation, as sales have increased 11 percent during the first five months of the year. One in three premium SUVs sold in Brazil is a Land Rover model, the automaker says.
The first U.K auto facility in Latin America features several environmentally friendly features, such as rainwater collection and around 1,200 newly planted trees surrounding the area. JLR hopes its new creation will be the first auto plant in Brazil to achieve LEED Gold sustainability accreditation.
JLR has also made it a point to support the Brazilian automotive industry, sourcing major parts like seats, cockpit, exhaust, chassis, and powertrain assembly from local suppliers. Meanwhile, JLR is also investing in Brazil as a nation. The plant includes JLR’s first overseas Education Business Partnership Center, which works to educate up to 12,000 local children every year.
We have known about the new plant for quite a while now. We first reported in late 2014 that JLR was investing $750 million by the end of 2020 to support the production of a number of new models at the plant. Eventually, it will be able to produce 24,000 vehicles a year just for Brazil.
In addition to the Brazil plant, the automaker recently opened a joint venture in China and a new engine plant in Wolverhampton, U.K. It has set aside at least $680 million to double the size of that U.K. facility. Meanwhile, the automaker also plans to build aluminum-intensive cars in Slovakia by late 2018.
This article originally appeared on MotorTrend