Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth said that the company plans to invest 100 million pounds (equivalent to $156.14 million) to set up a factory in China that will have 5,000 workers and will be capable of building 50,000 vehicles each year, according to the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald. Speth said that this program will start as soon as the company finds the right partner.
Insiders said that Chery (based in Anhui) and JLR have agreed to work together and that details concerning this partnership have already been sent to the appropriate government authorities.
Tom Bury, senior sales manager at Jaguar Land Rover China, said that 37,000 units were sold in the country from January-November 2011. Majority of the sales (about 32,000 units) are Land Rovers.
At the 2011 Auto Changsha International Automobile Exposition, Bury said that consumers in China represent a very substantial force. He also said that its sales performance surpassed expectations. In the past few years, the luxury vehicle segment in China has been growing a lot.
In fact, 676,000 units were sold in 2010. This means that the luxury segment’s growth rates are still much higher than the industry average. Last May, Jaguar Land Rover said that it wanted to make vehicles in China.
Parent company Tata Motors said that China’s output of Jaguars and Land Rovers will start within two years. To find the right partner, JLR has met up with several automakers in the past such as Geely, Jiangling, Changfeng and Great Wall.