Jaguar Land Rover and Chery Automobile Company Ltd, the British and Chinese carmakers, today formally laid the foundation stone for their new manufacturing facility in the People's Republic of China. The two companies have recently received formal approval from the Chinese Government for the joint venture and now have a licence to manufacture JLR 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 10.9bn RMB investment that will also include a new research and development centre and engine production facility. The project includes the creation of a new partnership brand to assemble models tailored specifically for the Chinese market, including the marketing and distribution. The benefits of the joint venture to China include investment, job creation, advanced technology and low carbon solutions. The joint venture will blend together the heritage and experience of luxury premium vehicle manufacturer JLR with the intricate knowledge and understanding of Chinese customers of Chery.
The joint venture shows a firm commitment from both companies to the world's largest car market for the long term future. In a joint statement, at a press conference in Jiangsu, Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer, and Mr Yin Tongyao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chery Automobile Company Ltd, said, 'We are delighted to have reached this milestone, achieved thanks to the understanding and foresight of the Chinese authorities and we want to thank them for recognising the potential of our joint venture in the fast-growing Chinese market. 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 name of the new joint venture company has been confirmed as Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Company Ltd. In addition to established vehicles, the partnership will also produce models for a domestic brand tailored specifically to local customer demand - it has been speculated that this will be the DC100 following patent applications for this model in China. Both companies are committed to investing heavily into product innovation and advanced technologies using a new Research and Development Centre, more details of which will be released at a later date.
The two companies plan to complete the Changshu facility in Jiangsu province during 2014. Construction of a new engine plant for production of fuel efficient engines is also part of the JV partnership agreement. The confidence of Chery's partnership with JLR follows rapid expansion of the Jaguar and Land Rover brands in China, where sales rose 80 per cent in the first 10 months to October 2012. In the 2011 calendar year, JLR saw sales increase more than 60 per cent, driven mainly by the Jaguar XJ and XF models, and strong demand for the fuel-efficient Range Rover Evoque.
?Chery Automobile Co. Ltd was founded on 8 January 1997. The company is headquartered in Wuhu, Anhui Province, China. Since its formation, Chery has emerged as one of China's largest and most productive automotive manufacturers. Chery is China's largest vehicle exporter to markets in more than 60 countries. Its products include passenger cars and SUVs as well as engines and transmissions. In 2011, Chery recorded sales of 643,000 units, and is ranked sixth among the passenger vehicle manufacturers in China. The partnership with JLR signals the start of international expansion and strategic development for Chery Automobile.