Jaguar Land Rover and Chery Automobile have received approval from the Chinese government to invest $1.75 billion in building a factory in China.
The 50-50 joint venture will build a plant near Shanghai, including an engine plant and a research and development center. The manufacturing plant is due to open in 2015 and although JLR didn’t say which models will be built there, the Land Rover Freelander or Evoque are the most likely candidates. In addition, it will also produce vehicles specifically tailored for the Chinese market.
"China is now our biggest market," Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer, said at a press briefing yesterday. "The Chinese economy has grown at a phenomenal rate in recent years and by any western standard, and I’m convinced that it is set to continue to grow at an astounding rate into the future."
Manufacturing in China allows JLR to avoid the 25% import duty, expanding its appeal in the world's largest auto market, where luxury sedans and SUVs remain in hot demand even as the overall car market cools. Sales of JLR models in China have risen by 80 per cent in the first 10 months to October 2012.