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Jaguar Land Rover opens first overseas factory in China

Wed, 22 Oct 2014

Anyone who's a car fan knows that Jaguar and Land Rover cars and trucks all come from the UK. And while we don't doubt that will remain true for the most part, it won't be an absolute truth for long, as the British automaker has just opened its first factory overseas.

Its new plant in Changshu, China, is the result of a $1.8-billion joint venture between JLR and local automaker Chery. It covers some 4.3-million square feet and will, once at peak capacity, produce 130,000 units specifically for the Chinese market, where JLR sells over 100,000 vehicles each year to make it the company's single largest market worldwide.

Production at what's officially known as the Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Company will start with the Evoque, of which one in five globally are currently sold in China. Production will eventually encompass three models. We already know that the Discovery Sport will be next, but the third model line has yet to be announced. JLR has confirmed, however, that the Changshu plant will produce unique models and derivatives specifically for the Chinese market, so we wouldn't be surprised to see a long-wheelbase version of the forthcoming XE or next-generation XF assembled there to satisfy local tastes.

The Changshu location isn't the only overseas plant Jaguar Land Rover has in store. A new plant in Brazil is set to come on line in 2016, and another is reportedly being considered in the southern United States. Don't think that JLR is abandoning its traditional home, however, as the company is also set to open a new engine plant later this month in Wolverhampton, England, in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Jaguar Land Rover Inaugurates Its First Overseas Manufacturing Facility

- Joint venture with Chery Automobile Company to manufacture the Range Rover Evoque and introduce further Jaguar Land Rover models by 2016
- Plant-opening forms part of RMB 10.9 billion joint venture investment demonstrating Jaguar Land Rover's commitment to the Chinese market
- Changshu facility will have a production capacity of 130,000 units for the Chinese market only

Changshu, China - Jaguar Land Rover today announced the opening of its inaugural overseas manufacturing facility, in China. The award-winning Range Rover Evoque will be the first model to be built under the first Chinese-British automotive joint venture, with Chery Automobile Company Ltd.

The plant inauguration of Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Company follows the two-year construction of a factory, which is almost 400,000 square-metres. Located in the Changshu Economic Development Zone north of Shanghai, the factory is part of a RMB 10.9 billion joint venture investment plan.

Dr Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, and Mr Yin Tongyao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chery Automobile Company, welcomed the formal opening of the facility that aims to be the most advanced and efficient car factory in China.

At the plant inauguration, Dr Speth said: "The opening of this world-class facility is an important milestone for Jaguar Land Rover. Since its launch, one in five Range Rover Evoques have been sold in China. Our decision to manufacture the Range Rover Evoque in Changshu is a result of our commitment to bringing more Chinese vehicles to Chinese customers."

Mr Yin added: "Chery Jaguar Land Rover remains committed to delivering excellence in its quest to lead the Chinese premium automotive industry through its historic British lineage, world-class quality and unique shared value approach."

By 2016, the facility is expected to be building three Jaguar Land Rover models with total production capacity of 130,000 units a year. Those vehicles will be manufactured in highly-automated press shops - including cutting-edge aluminium and steel technologies - along with a steel body shop comprising 306 robots, an energy-efficient paint shop and an ergonomically-friendly final assembly line. A new aluminium body shop, the first in China, is already under construction, at the Changshu facility, to support the introduction of new Jaguar products.

Chris Bryant, President of Chery Jaguar Land Rover, said: "The plant opening marks the completion of our start-up phase of which we are incredibly proud, and now we will continue to build with the same passion and pride, to realise our goal to be the premium automotive manufacturer inspiring excellence in China's automotive industry."

Significant investment has also been committed to training more than 2,000 new people in health and safety standards, process systems and problem-solving, as well as the company's quality-control processes and corporate culture.

The facility in the Jiangsu region, part of the Yangtze River Delta, forms the centrepiece of a joint venture investment that will include the establishment of our Greater China Research and Development Centre and engine manufacturing. Inaugural sales of the China-made Range Rover Evoque are due to begin in early 2015. Further details will be released at the Guangzhou Motor Show later this year.

In a joint statement, Dr Speth and Mr Yin concluded: "We will leverage the complementary strengths of our two businesses to set new standards for manufacturing excellence, quality and sustainability in China. Together, we can look forward to expansion in China with confidence."

Jaguar Land Rover first established a presence in China just over a decade ago and has a long-term commitment to its Chinese customers. Once fully operational, output from the new state-of-the-art facility will include new derivatives and models specially designed for the Chinese market.

The company has developed a compelling CSR programme in China and, earlier this year, created the Jaguar Land Rover Children and Dream Fund, working with the Soong Ching Ling Foundation. Jaguar Land Rover China will invest RMB 50 million over the next three years in an initiative that supports and develops underprivileged young people.

Jaguar Land Rover is committed to inspiring the future generation of Chinese automotive engineers. In the last four years, more than 500 apprentices have graduated from the apprentice training programme in China.

In the last fiscal year, Jaguar Land Rover sold more than 100,000 vehicles in China, making it Jaguar Land Rover's single largest market.


Jaguar Land Rover's New Engine Manufacturing Centre To Be Officially Opened By Her Majesty The Queen Accompanied By His Royal Highness The Duke Of Edinburgh

- Jaguar Land Rover's new Engine Manufacturing Centre will be officially opened on October 30th 2014.
- The opening of the Engine Manufacturing Centre represents a significant milestone for the UK's largest premium automotive manufacturer.

Jaguar Land Rover is delighted to confirm that Her Majesty the Queen will officially open the company's new, state-of-the-art Engine Manufacturing Centre on Thursday October 30th 2014. HM The Queen will be accompanied during the visit by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

The opening of the £500mn Engine Manufacturing Centre near Wolverhampton is a seminal moment for Jaguar Land Rover as it embarks on manufacturing in-house engines for the first time in a generation, cementing its position as the UK's most significant automotive investor.

The new facility is home to the 'Ingenium' engine family which will power a new generation of Jaguar Land Rover products designed engineered and manufactured in the UK. This starts with the 2.0-litre diesel in the Jaguar XE.

By Noah Joseph

See also: Jaguar Land Rover in talks for Southern US factory, Jaguar Land Rover in talks for Southern US factory, Jaguar Heritage Driving Experience throws you the keys to the museum.