China Watch : Land Rover in JV talks with Chery Auto and Tianqi Auto
Ash Sutcliffe, China Car Times, 13th September, 2010
Land Rover are reportedly in talks with two companies within China to produce the Land Rover range of vehicles for Chinese consumption. Land Rover sales in China have increased dramatically over the past 2 years and, by introducing Chinese made vehicles into China, the company believes that it will be able to lower costs which would result in further sales.
Rumours of Land Rover entering China first came out earlier this year and were later confirmed by Tata’s Carl-Peter Forster. Land Rover are reportedly in talks with Chery Automobile Company Limited and also a much smaller company named Tianjin Tianqi (Automobile Industry) Group. Chery Auto’s CEO previously stated that the company is not interested in working in a joint venture partnership with foreign car companies and plans on taking their own development road, although it could be that the allure of working with Land Rover has helped to soften his stance on joint venture partnerships. Tianjin Tianqi (Automobile Industry) Group is a very small company located in the city of Tianjin and is a small scale manufacturer of low cost MPVs and SUVs for the Chinese market.
China Car Times has learned that Land Rover will be aiming to produce around 40,000 vehicles in its first year of operation in China and, depending on the success of this its partner company, Jaguar is also expected to enter the Chinese market. The Tianjin Government is actively supporting Tianqi Auto in the talks and may offer substantial subsidies to Land Rover if they enter into a partnership with Tianqi Auto as the company is state-owned and has seen its sales shrink over the past few years.
Land Rover entered China in 2003 and had yearly sales of just 23 units but, in the first half of 2010, sales reached 10,983 units which was an increase of 135% on the year before and that has put the Chinese market in third place behind the UK and USA for sales of Land Rover vehicles.
[Source: China Car Times]