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Jaguar Land Rover Opens First Overseas Plant – in China, of Course

China already JLR's biggest market.

by on Oct.22, 2014

A Range Rover Evoq moves down the assembly land at JLR's new assembly plant near Shanghai.

That “veddy” British automaker, Jaguar Land Rover, is looking a little less Anglo-Saxon every day. First, it was acquired by American maker Ford, then sold to Indian upstart Tata Motors. And now, JLR has opened up its first foreign manufacturing plant. In China, of course.

The Asian nation is already the world’s largest automotive market and, by most accounts, is expected to top the global luxury sales charts, as well, by the end of the decade. It is, in fact, already Jaguar Land Rover’s single-largest market.

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And the maker is expecting to see that grow significantly, in part, because localizing production will eliminate the hefty Chinese tariff on automotive imports. (more…)

First Look: “Ultimate Jaguar”

Work hard, play harder.

by on Apr.24, 2012

Jaguar brings its "Ultimate XJ" to Beijing.

If you think American luxury buyers are picky, you haven’t been to China lately.  With a heaping helping of billionaires and nearly a million millionaires, there’s a booming market for high-line products.  In fact, Bentley is just one of many brands now selling more cars in China than anywhere else.

But those everyday luxury cars U.S. and European buyers settle for don’t necessarily have traction in the People’s Republic, where buyers want more, more, more – starting with plenty of room in the back seat, and all the amenities normally available to those up front.

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So, hoping to pick up a bigger share of the market, Jaguar is displaying what it calls the “Ultimate XJ” at the Beijing Motor Show.

Among the many niceties: the back is not only bigger but features seats that are independently adjustable – power controls, of course.  Even the fold-town tables are motorized, and there are iPads with keyboards mounted into the back of the front seats.


Jaguar Land Rover Teaming up with China’s Chery

Too little too late?

by on Mar.22, 2012

Jaguar and British sibling Land Rover have inked an alliance with Chery Automobile to produce cars in China.

British maker Jaguar Land Rover is the latest to ink a deal with a Chinese partner – but with signs the Chinese market may be slowing, the question is whether the move is too little too late.

The new partnership with China’s ambitious Chery Automobile Company will lead to the production of both Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, as well as powertrains, at a facility in the booming Asian market – which has outsold the U.S. for the last several years.

But the specifics have yet to be announced and will be subject to approval by Chinese regulators – a process that can drag on for some time.  Fuji Heavy Industries has been waiting since last year for the go-ahead on a deal that would lead to production of its Subaru line in China.  Nonetheless, officials at India’s Tata Motors, which owns JLR, expressed optimism.

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“Demand for Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles continues to increase significantly in China and we believe that JLR and Chery can jointly realize the potential of these iconic brands,” Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth, said in a statement.


Is China’s Car Market About to Stall?

Sales to miss government’s already modest expectations; margins also softening.

by on Mar.22, 2012

Mercedes is reportedly slashing prices by as much as 25% in China.

At a time when the world auto industry was ready to collapse, the Chinese market offered a rare and desperately sought beacon of hope.  Even as demand in the U.S. market plunged to its lowest levels in decades, China continued to deliver double-digit growth, propelling the emerging market to global sales leadership.

Ironically, as the U.S. market recovery begins to heat up, China is showing signs of an unexpected slowdown – one that is proving particularly worrisome in the luxury segment, and which could slam manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi who have counted on China for a disproportionate share of their profits in recent years.

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For the year-to-date, Chinese light vehicle sales are down a notable 4.4%.  The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers now predicts overall sales will only grow by about 5% for the full year – missing the government’s goal of 7%.  By global standards, that’s nonetheless significant – but put into perspective it’s clearly worrisome when one recalls recent annual growth rates that, at times, approached 100%.


Jaguar Land Rover to Open Plant in China

Tata expected to double investment in JLR this year.

by on Feb.23, 2012

Jaguar has lots of new product coming and some of those models - perhaps the production version of the C-X75 - could be assembled at a new plant in China.

Jaguar and its truckmaking partner Land Rover have agreed to set up a plant in China, currently the world’s fastest-growing luxury auto market.

As with other foreign makers, Jaguar Land Rover will enter into a joint venture with one of the many local Chinese automotive companies.  While JLR’s parent, the Indian Tata Motors, has declined to reveal who the partner is the luxury maker was known to be talking to China’s ambitious Chery Automobile as recently as last autumn.

Jaguar has been struggling to plant itself into the luxury mainstream despite adding a number of new models to the line-up, such as the totally redesigned XJ sedan, the flagship model debuting in late 2010.  Land Rover has had a bit better luck with offerings such as the all-new Evoq – which was named North American Truck of the Year in January.

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But both brands are betting they can gain a leg up by going local in China, circumventing stiff duties on imported automotive products.

Specific details are being withheld until China’s regulators give the proposed deal their blessing, said Tata Motors’ chief financial officer C Ramakrishnan.