There is confirmation this week that Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is going to build some of its cars outside the UK for the first time.
During the week JLR announced that it was going into partnership with Chinese firm Chery Automobile Company Ltd to build a car plant in Changshu, Jiangsu Province (near Shanghai).
JLR is investing £1.1 billion in its China venture and plans to finish the new Changshu factory in 2014. Interestingly the partnership isn’t just about car production. The deal also includes setting up an R&D centre and an engine production plant. The centre will focus on developing the brand-new China-specific cars and JLR will be assisting with their marketing and distribution.
JLR executives stress that the Chinese venture will add extra capacity for China rather than displace jobs here in the UK. With sales of the Company’s products up 80% this year in China JLR needs to develop additional capacity to meet the demands of this new market. However, the Chery Automobile Company Ltd is China’s biggest vehicle exporter and the JLR deal is part of its plans to step up international development.