Land Rover will start exporting CKD kits for assembly in India from next year following a review of its business operations but the company would not comment on which facility will be used for assembly or which model it was considering. Neither did it have any details on the volume to be exported.
Speculation that Land Rover could be moving the CKDs to the Chikli facility near Pune, which Mercedes-Benz leased from Tata until the end of 2008, was unconfirmed.
A spokesperson for Jaguar Land Rover told Automotive Logistics News that, as part of its strategic business review carried out last September “the company acknowledged that it made sense to broaden its geographical and cost footprint as new models drive growth in the years ahead, especially in developing markets such as China, Russia, Brazil or India.”

In an official statement JLR would only say that it was planning to assemble Land Rover vehicles in India, for the Indian market, from next year and that it had local assembly CKD facilities for Land Rover products in a number of markets.

“At this stage we can not provide any further detail on the plans for CKD assembly in India other than to say it will not negatively impact upon UK production,” said the spokesperson.

Government bank approves loan guarantee for Ford exports

Last week, US President Barack Obama announced that the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im), a federal-government agency, has approved a $250m working capital loan guarantee for Ford that will go towards the financing of more than 200,000 vehicles exported from six US production sites to customers in Canada and Mexico. It is the first time that such a financing facility has been granted to help exports for the automotive industry.
Funding will be provided by the Private Export Funding Corporation for the revolving $250m loan, which Ford must pay back–including fees and interest–in one year. The money will help finance all export operations for Ford vehicles built in Chicago, Illinois; Dearborn and Wayne, Michigan; Kansas City, Missouri; Louisville, Kentucky; and Avon Lake, Ohio. The plants build models including the F-150 pickup, Explorer SUV, Focus, Taurus, Lincoln MKS, Navigator and others.
According to a statement from the Ex-Im Bank, this transaction is the first of its kind for the bank. The loan is formula-based and secured by vehicles in transit to Canada and Mexico.
“This transaction alone will support thousands of high paying export-related American jobs by exporting superior goods and services to international buyers,” Fred P. Hochberg, chairman and president of Ex-Im Bank, said in a statement.
Mike Moran, a Ford spokesperson in Washington, DC, told Automotive Logistics News that Ford did not have a breakdown as to how much of the financing would go towards specific export costs, including vehicle storage, transport or other logistics cost, however he noted that the financing, which came with a low interest rate, would help to grow export operations.
“The 211,000 vehicles projected is in line with our current expectations for exports [to Canada and Mexico],” he said. “This loan assists us in the financing of these exports and we would hope to be in a position to grow this opportunity.”
This year, Ford’s US production in the first seven months has nearly doubled to more than 1m units, from 562,000 at this point last year.
Chrysler moves parts centre to Shanghai
Chrysler is moving its Asia-Pacific parts transhipment centre from Singapore to Yangshan Port in Shanghai, China following a recent agreement signed between its sales subsidiary in the country-Chrysler (China) Sales-and Shanghai Tongsheng Logistics Park Investment & Development.
According to the company Chrysler vehicle sales are growing in the Chinese market enabling it to gradually expand its business there and move the centre to the mainland.
Once completed, Chrysler said the centre will simplify customs clearance procedures, shorten operating hours and offer Chrysler’s Chinese dealers and customers more efficient services and the delivery of better products.
Toyota Logistics Services recognise WWL

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics has received the ‘Toyota Logistics Services Award for Quality Service & Performance in 2009’ in recognition of the vehicle processing operations it provides for Toyota at WWL’s Mid-Atlantic terminal at the port of Baltimore in Maryland and at the Lafayette facility in Indiana in the US. WWL supplies processing and terminal services for Toyota exports.
Nancy Davies, group vice president of Toyota Logistics Services said: “In addition to quality handling and reliability, a large part of what earned Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics this honour is the team’s customer service skills. Toyota truly appreciates being able to work with such a knowledgeable and responsive team as WWL.”
At the Baltimore facility WWL carries out receiving inspection after carrier unloading and cargo inspection prior to vessel loading. It also handles vehicle management including port inventory reporting, quality inspections and repair audits as well as a range of value-added work including body shop repair work and vehicle modifications as necessary.

This latest award, which was awarded in California in July, is in addition to TLS awards announced in March this year (read more here).