Tata Motors owned Jaguar Land
Rover has opened its inaugural overseas manufacturing facility in China. The
Range Rover Evoque will be the first model to be built under the first
Chinese-British automotive joint venture, with Chery Automobile Company Ltd,
said a press release issued by the company.
The plant inauguration of
Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Company follows the two-year construction of
a factory, which is almost 400,000 square-metres. The plant is located in the
Changshu Economic Development Zone north of Shanghai. The factory is part of a
RMB 10.9 billion (Rs 10,903 crore) joint venture investment plan.
In the last fiscal year,
Jaguar Land Rover sold more than 100,000 vehicles in China, making it Jaguar
Land Rover’s single largest market.
Dr Ralf Speth, Chief Executive
Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, and Yin Tongyao, Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer of Chery Automobile Company, welcomed the formal opening of the
facility that aims to be the most advanced and efficient car factory in China.
At the plant inauguration, Dr
Speth said that the opening of this world-class facility is an important
milestone for Jaguar Land Rover. Since its launch, one in five Range Rover
Evoques have been sold in China. “Our decision to manufacture the Range Rover
Evoque in Changshu is a result of our commitment to bringing more Chinese
vehicles to Chinese customers,” he said.
Yin added that Chery Jaguar
Land Rover remains committed to delivering excellence in its quest to lead the
Chinese premium automotive industry through its historic British lineage,
world-class quality and unique shared value approach.
By 2016, the facility is expected
to be building three Jaguar Land Rover models with total production capacity of
130,000 units a year. Those vehicles will be manufactured in highly-automated
press shops – including cutting-edge aluminium and steel technologies – along
with a steel body shop comprising 306 robots, an energy-efficient paint shop
and an ergonomically-friendly final assembly line. A new aluminium body shop, the first in
China, is already under construction, at the Changshu facility, to support the
introduction of new Jaguar products.
Chris Bryant, President of
Chery Jaguar Land Rover joint, said:
“The plant opening marks the completion of our start-up phase of which
we are incredibly proud, and now we will continue to build with the same
passion and pride, to realise our goal to be the premium automotive
manufacturer inspiring excellence in China’s automotive industry."
Significant investment has
also been committed to training more than 2,000 new people in health and safety
standards, process systems and problem-solving, as well as the company’s
quality-control processes and corporate culture.
The facility in the Jiangsu
region, part of the Yangtze River Delta, forms the centrepiece of a joint
venture investment that will include the establishment of our Greater China Research
and Development Centre and engine manufacturing. Inaugural sales of the
China-made Range Rover Evoque are due to begin in early 2015.
In a joint statement, Dr Speth
and Yin concluded: “We will leverage the complementary strengths of our two
businesses to set new standards for manufacturing excellence, quality and
sustainability in China. Together, we can look forward to expansion in China
Jaguar Land Rover first
established a presence in China just over a decade. Once fully operational,
output from the new state-of-the-art facility will include new derivatives and
models specially designed for the Chinese market.
The company has developed a
compelling CSR programme in China and, earlier this year, created the Jaguar
Land Rover Children and Dream Fund, working with the Soong Ching Ling
Foundation. Jaguar Land Rover China will invest RMB 50 million over the next
three years in an initiative that supports and develops underprivileged young
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