A couple of developments on the recent Jaguar/Land Rover joint venture are being reported in Chinese media based on a report in China’s Economic Daily News. The 130,000-capacity factory planned for Jiangsu is expected to mint its first vehicle in 2014, with numbers given for the breakdown so far as: 43,000 Land Rover Freelander 2s, 34,000 Range Rover Evoque models (called the Aurora in China) and, according to Google Translate, “the joint venture brand vehicles of 23,000 Jaguar sedan.”
We’re not sure if that really means 23,000 Jags will be made, since that would be a six-fold multiplier of Jaguar’s 2011 sales in China. The quoted Land Rover production would only be doubling its sales tally from 2011, even though the brand’s sales were up 105 percent in Q1 of this year. There will be a separate joint-venture brand created between JLR and Chery as well, so that could be a part of it. Futher on, the plan is for the plant to expand to a capacity of 250,000 units.
More interestingly, the locally-made engines will be JLR’s 3.0-liter V6 alongside two Chery motors, a 1.6-liter TGDI turbo and a 2.0-liter TGDI, with plans to “gradually introduce” the Chery engines into the Land Rovers. JLR engineers are said to be moving to China to continue joint development of the TGDI motors, which has apparently been ongoing. Until those are ready, JLR will import its 240-horsepower, 2.0-liter motor.
The report in China’s 163.com is also interesting for the regulatory and business context it provides on the joint venture, with government rules mandating the minimum amount of investment and the establishment of R&D centers. The tie-up is said to be a boon to Chery’s fortunes in light of the assertion that Chery’s “operating conditions are not ideal” and that getting the “core technology” for its own brands had “become the top priority of the project approval.” Official approval of the JV is expected later this year.
Published CBR Auto Body San Jose News : 5-16-12.