Jaguar Land Rover intends to produce the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Freelander at its Changshu site in China, a source told Automotive News Europe. JLR recently announced that it will commence production at a plant operated by its joint venture with Chery Automobile late this year.
JLR, however, did not say which models will be produced at the site, which is located in Changshu, China. Local production is seen to help the carmaker increase its sales in China, where SUVs are currently very popular. In fact, sales of SUVs in China jumped 41 percent to 319,200 in May, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
The carmaker posted a 53-percent jump in sales in China to 10,880 vehicles in in May, and a 46-percent climb in the first five months of 2014, according to its own data. JLR’s Changshu site will have an initial annual production capacity of 130,000 units.
JLR is also planning to build an engine facility just next to the vehicle site to produce its new range of four-cylinder engines. The Changshu vehicle plant will produce vehicles for a Chery/JLR joint brand, which will be based on the British carmaker’s models.