Yesterday, CBI member Jaguar Land Rover opened its inaugural overseas manufacturing facility in China.
The award-winning Range Rover Evoque will be the first model to be built under the first Chinese-British automotive venture, with Chery Automobile 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. Located in the Changshu Economic Development Zone north of Shanghai, the factory is part of a RMB 10.9 billion joint venture investment plan.
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 aluminum 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 aluminum body shop, the first in China, is already under construction at the Changshu facility to support the introduction of new Jaguar products.
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 forms the centrepiece of a joint venture investment that will include the establishment of Jaguar Land Rover's Greater China Research and Development Centre and engine manufacturing. Inaugural sales of the China-made Range Rover Evoque are scheduled to begin in early 2015. Further details will be released at the Guangzhou Motor Show later this year.
Speaking at the new plant's inauguration, Dr. Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, said, "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."
Mr. Yin Tongyao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chery Automobile Company, said, "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."
Chris Bryant, President of Chery Jaguar Land Rover, 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."
In a joint statement, Dr. Speth and Mr. 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 with confidence."
Jaguar Land Rover first established a presence in China just over a decade ago and has a long-term commitment to its Chinese customers. Once fully operational, output from the new state-of-the-art facility will include new derivatives and models specially designed for the Chinese market.
Please click here to read the full press release by Jaguar Land Rover on its first overseas manufacturing facility in China.