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]

Clive Goldthorp

About the Author:

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.

4 Comments on "China Watch : Land Rover in JV talks with Chery Auto and Tianqi Auto"

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  1. Chris Chapman says:

    Forget Chery – get into bed with a company whose existing vehicles look very “similar” to Isuzu Troopers/Vauxhall Fronteras and which has apparently also premiered Honda CR-V clones…

  2. @Chris Chapman
    I have now incorporated the link which you originally included in your above post in the article and so have removed the link from your post to avoid duplication.

    Incidentally, I attempt to follow the Chinese Automotive Industry pretty closely but had not heard of Tianjin Tianqi (Automobile Industry) Group until yesterday…

  3. Andrew M says:

    Whilst it may be true that production costs are lower in China, is it really such a good idea to set up manufacturing in such a far away a place? Would quality be a problem? What about the costs involved in setting up and maintaining the quality culture required by a company like Land Rover?

  4. Chris Chapman says:

    They used to make them in Australia. Chinese factories are some of the best facilitated in the World. However, don’t believe the hype about lower production costs in China – many multinational companies are catching a major cold as local wage rates rise, exchange rates change and they find they forgot about import duties, etc.
    It’s not so much the cost of the quality culture as actually deciding if it works, everyone buys into it and it is relevant – that’s been JLR’s problem for decades.

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