Two executives recently told Reuters that Jaguar Land Rover is in talks with top Chinese SUV maker Great Wall Motor Co. about a potential China partnership. The first executive said the two companies are exploring opportunities for a cooperative effort and senior executives of Jaguar and Land Rover came over and visited the Great Wall plant earlier in February 2011.
The second executive said that contacts between the two parties have already passed the initial stage, but no final decision has been reached so far.
A unit of India’s Tata Motors Ltd., JLR, is one of the few top-line global brands that do not have manufacturing arrangements in China, where rivals Audi AG, BMW AG, Mercedes-Benz and others already have racked up stellar sales.
The second executive added that Great Wall Chairman Wei Jianjun met with JLR's senior executives during their China tour. JLR Chief Financial Officer Ken Gregor said China was the unit's fastest growing market in 2010 and added that sales in the country jumped 95 percent during the year to 26,114 units.
The JLR unit, which Tata bought from Ford Motor Co. in 2008 for $2.3 billion, was initially losing money; however, it made a turnaround in the last few quarters and posted a profit of INR19.58 billion (about $434 million) for the three months ended December 2010. [via autonews - sub. required]