JLR has signed a deal to examine the financial viability of building cars in the Middle East, with rumours circulating that the company has already earmarked £100m to develop a facility, which could be capable of building 100,000 vehicles a year.
Cars would initially be built using UK components, but in future could contain locally produced parts as Saudi Arabia bids to develop an automotive industry of its own.
A new plant would just be another piece in the company’s international jigsaw following impressive car sales around the globe in recent years.
A Saudi plant would initially build a new version of the Land Rover Discovery and could, over time, create between 4,000 and 5,000 jobs.
Currently JLR exports around 85% of all its products and is in the process of building a new plant near Shanghai in a £1bn joint venture with Chinese car maker Chery to support growing sales of its models throughout China.
Plans for a £240m factory in Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro were also announced at the end of 2013.
A JLR spokesman said: “We can confirm that a detailed feasibility study is under way to consider Saudi Arabia and the possible future location for a Jaguar Land Rover automotive facility.
“A letter of intent has been signed between JLR and the National Industrial Clusters Development Programme to determine the commercial viability of setting up a financially sustainable automotive facility.”