Jaguar Land Rover, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Motors, and Chinese car maker Chery Automobile Company Ltd, have received Chinese government approval to set up a new manufacturing facility in the People’s Republic of China.

The equal partnership, to be called Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Company Ltd, will manufacture Jaguar Land Rover vehicles and new models for a partnership brand in China.

JLR and Chery will now accelerate plans to build a joint venture manufacturing plant in Changshu, near Shanghai, as part of a 10.9 billion RMB investment that will include a new research and development centre and engine facility for production of fuel efficient engines. The two companies plan to complete the Changshu facility in Jiangsu province during 2014.

The project includes the creation of a new partnership brand to assemble models tailored specifically for the Chinese market, including their marketing and distribution.

In a joint statement, Ralf Speth, CEO, JLR, and Yin Tongyao, Chairman and CEO, Chery Automobile Company Ltd, said, "Together, we will now begin working in close collaboration on our partnership plans to harness the capabilities of our respective companies, to produce relevant, advanced models for Chinese consumers.”

The partnership follows the rapid expansion of the marquee British brands Jaguar and Land Rover in China, where sales rose 80 per cent in the first 10 months of 2012. In 2011 calendar year, Jaguar Land Rover saw sales increase over 60 per cent, driven mainly by the Jaguar XJ and XF models, and strong demand for the fuel-efficient Range Rover Evoque.

Chery is the largest Chinese car exporter and one of the country’s most productive automotive manufacturers, with 15 years’ experience in the automobile industry.

In 2005, sales in China accounted for 1 per cent of combined Jaguar and Land Rover sales. It is now one of Jaguar Land Rover’s main markets and is still growing.

alka.k@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 18, 2012)
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