The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a long history of working with Western businesses to help develop its economy. Traditionally, most of those businesses have been in the petrochemical and energy sector. But today, Jaguar Land Rover CEO Dr. Ralf Speth signed a letter of intent with Saudi Arabia's National Industrial Clusters Development Program to explore the possibility of opening a production facility in the kingdom.

What makes the potential venture especially attractive to JLR is the parallel construction of what's planned to be the world's largest integrated aluminum complex, due to open in 2014. The aluminum plant is a joint venture between the Saudi Arabian Mining Company and U.S. based aluminum giant Alcoa. With several Jaguar models, as well as the recent introduction of the 2013 Range Rover, JLR is pioneering the whole-vehicle use of aluminum, and sees potential synergies with the aluminum plant.

The letter of intent shows a seriousness of purpose, but specific details such as location, amount of investment, production capacity, and level of job creation are still to be determined, although JLR expects to make further announcements on its planned Saudi investments in 2013. The signing of the letter intent follows JLR's previous announcements of a joint-venture with Chinese automaker Chery, as well as an expansion of its production facilities in Pune, India.

Source: Jaguar Land Rover