It is being reported by The Sunday Times, without citied sources, that Jaguar Land Rover is in advanced talks with the Chinese carmaker Chery Automobile Co Ltd about setting up a manufacturing joint venture in China. The two companies are understood to have applied for regulatory clearance to set up the partnership and hope to announce a deal by the end of April.
Founded as a state-owned enterprise in 1997, auto production commenced in 1999 using a floorpan licensed from Volkswagen SEAT.
In 2009 Chery produced 508,500 units, although by that time it probably had an annual production capacity of 650,000. More than 400,000 of its 2009 sales were saloon cars. Chery became the 7th most-productive Chinese vehicle manufacturer in 2010, selling nearly 700,000 units. It had made its first export to Syria in 2001 and, as of 2010, Chery was the top exporter among Chinese automakers. Currently, Chery has established dealerships throughout Europe in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia, Macedonia, Turkey and Italy. This follows one of Chery's strategic goals which is to expand in the developing countries first, then in the developed countries. Plans to start selling vehicles within the remainder of the European Union are set for after 2015, until then the company will be focusing on South America and Russia as its major export markets.