Latest in slew of Sino-Indian joint ventures
Nov. 19 – Both Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles are to be built in China under specially-developed new brands for the domestic market in a US$1.5 billion JV deal announced between JLR, owned by India’s Tata Motors, and China’s Chery Auto. Tata who purchased the British vehicle brands and assembly plants from Ford four years ago, have been highly successful in targeting their upmarket marques at Asian consumers. Previously, the vehicles had largely been the preserve of the American and European markets. The first models to shift production are likely to be the Land Rover Freelander and Defender 4x4s, with luxury Jaguar limousines set to follow.
A newly-built factory in Changshu, Jiangsu Province (near Shanghai) will start production in 2014. This venture will mark the first time JLR cars have been manufactured from scratch abroad – rather than assembled in kit form from parts made in Britain and shipped out. Today, China is the world’s largest car market with sales last year totaling 18.5 million vehicles.
The deal represents something of a coup for Tata, who have been visible in being able to do something Chery have not – acquire distressed European auto manufacturers and successfully convert them into Asian and international brands. Chery previously purchased Volvo, whose own development has proved patchy under Chinese ownership.