The Indian-owned, but British-based, car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is pushing ahead with its plan to open an automotive production facility in Saudi Arabia.

UK news reports state that a financial feasibility study has been agreed, which will determine whether the project is a viable option for the company.

The deal was signed with the kingdom’s National Industrial Clusters Development Programme, which is a governmental agency tasked with increasing Saudi Arabia’s industrial base.

MEED reported in September 2012 that JLR, which is owned by India’s Tata Group, was looking to build a plant at Ras al-Khair in the Eastern Province. This would enable the company to access large volumes of aluminium from Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) and the US’ Alcoa’s nearby $10.8bn aluminium complex.

Recent reports indicate that Ras al-Khair is still the preferred option and that the new plant would have the capacity to build 100,000 cars a year. Such a capacity would create thousands of direct job opportunities.