Jaguar and Land Rover eyeing Chinese partners

08:30, February 22, 2011      

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Premier car maker Jaguar and Land Rover is likely to team up with China's Great Wall Motors as it drives faster to localize in the world's largest auto market.

An official from Great Wall, China's leading sport utility vehicle producer, yesterday told Shanghai Daily that executives of Jaguar and Land Rover, which India's Tata Motors bought from Ford Motor Corp for US$2.3 billion in 2008, have visited its plant earlier this month.

"It's a preliminary contact for potential cooperation," said the official who declined to named. "No detailed agreement has been formed yet."

In May last year, Carl-Peter Forster, chief executive officer of Tata, told reporters the company is looking for partners to assemble Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles in China. "We need to manufacture at least two models in China," he said.

Analysts said a Chinese partner will enable Jaguar and Land Rover to sustain growth with price competitive products

"With low costs in China, local production will also generate more profits," said Cui Dongshu, an expert with the China Passenger Car Association.

Other potential partners that Jaguar and Land Rover are looking at include Jiangling Motors Co, Chery Automobile Co, Chang'an Group and privately-owned Geely Automobile Holdings.

An official from Jaguar and Land Rover in China yesterday said preparations for local production have started but he declined to provide details.

Last year, sales of Jaguar including its brand new XJ and XF series rose 50 percent to a record high of 2,655 units in China. Land Rover, which sells Range Rover and Freelander, saw sales more than doubled to 23,459 units - its highest in China.

Source: Shanghai Daily
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