It’s official, Tata Motors, maker of Jaguar Land Rover, has partnered with Japanese company Chery Automobile Co. and will shortly commence building work on the Changshu facility in Jiangsu province, which is due to open between 2014 and 2015. The new partnership will be called the Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Company and is reported to be worth a staggering £1.1bn. It’s the first time JLR have made an attempt to grow their brand in an international market, despite already having an assembly line in India.
Not Moving From Britain
Despite the increasing popularity of JLR vehicles in China, JLR have stated decisively that they will not be moving manufacture out of Britain, but will add the output of the proposed Shanghai plant to their existing output. By opening a new plant in China and partnering with local business Chery, JLR will be able to avoid a 25% tariff as well as import taxes in a country which is growing increasingly interested in JLR vehicles.
Follow Up on Previous Expansion Plans
JLR has seen a huge growth within the Chinese market and intends to capitalise on this interest by venturing further into international expansion. New models will be designed with Chinese consumers in mind, however because the company is not leaving Britain this will not affect their output in the UK. There are now 30 JLR car shop facilities in Southern China with more than a hundred due to open in the next six months, and a regional office and training academy are due to open in Guangzhou next year.
What Will This Mean for British Consumers?
The new Jaguar F-Type and Range Rover both debuted at the Guangzhou auto show this year after being premiered in Paris. With great reviews already, they both feature technically innovate designs such as the all aluminium body structure for the SUV. Although it has not been confirmed by either JLR or Chevy as to what vehicles will be produced at the new Changsu facility, it is speculated that the output will include the Land Rover Freelander or the Evoque, as well as Jaguars. In response to questions as to the effect that production in China will have on the value of luxury British Brands, JLR’s official line it that their customers won’t be disappointed, with Bob Grace, President of JLR in China, describing it as a ‘natural evolution’.
Due to demand from both the US and China JLR were able to create approximately 8,000 manufacturing jobs in Britain over the past few years – with 1,000 of these having been created in August of this year alone – and have no intentions of downsizing their operations in the UK. Despite this, their representatives would not speak as to further UK expansion. In addition, there are no proposals to significantly change the type of vehicle being researched and manufactured by JLR in the UK, as there is still a very high demand for quintessentially British vehicles in China.
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