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.
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.