China Watch : CCT’s latest reports from the rumour mill…

Clive Goldthorp

AROnline’s regular readers may recall that, back on the 28th May, 2010, Tata Motors Limited’s CEO, Carl-Peter Forster, said that Jaguar Land Rover “will need to manufacture at least two models in China. We’ll take one to two years to set it up but, first, we will need a partner.”

Little in the way of rumour, still less verifiable information, about the identity of the Chinese OEMs which Jaguar Land Rover China’s recently revamped Management Team might be talking to about the proposed Joint Venture has emerged either in China or the UK since then.

However, our colleague, Ash Sutcliffe, of China Car Times has today published an article which suggests that JLR China are currently in negotiations with Chery Automobile Company Limited (Chery Auto). Ash’s information comes from an article in China’s Daily Economic News in which Christopher Brown, JLR China’s just-appointed Executive Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, confirmed that JLR China would be the platform for Jaguar Land Rover’s future business development in China.

Brown did not, apparently, identify any potential Joint Venture partners but the Daily Economic News claimed that Chery Auto was the potential partner and that secret discussions had already been commenced. China Car Times’ attempts to verify the story met with a denial from a Chery Auto spokesman while a JLR spokesperson declined to comment.

China Car Times also reports that more information about the MG5 has filtered onto the Internet in China – the car will be offered with 1.5VVT and 1.5T engines. The current 1.5VVT engine produces 80Kw at 6,000rpm and has a torque of 135Nm at 4,500rpm but the 1.5T unit should produce around 100Kw of power and close to 200Nm of torque. The 1.5VVT engine will, in China at least, be offered with either a 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic transmission while the 1.5T unit will be available with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The MG5’s launch date has still to be announced but a concept may be on display alongside the new MG3 at the Guangzhou Auto Show this December. China Car Times has, in the meantime, just obtained new images of pre-production versions of the MG3 out testing on public roads near SAIC Motor’s Anting Technical Centre in Shanghai.

Clive Goldthorp


  1. Just to correct you slightly, the MG5 will have a 5-speed manual and 5-speed auto while the Turbo will get 6-speed manual and 6-speed auto.

  2. Unfortunately, Chery Auto have form when it comes to pirating designs – eg Daewoo Matiz. I read somewhere that they were even caught crash-testing QQs which actually turned out to be disguised Matizs! Their Riich has shades of Oden around the roofline but I guess that’s pure coincidence! China is full of pirated Japanese 4x4s so I hope JLR know what they are doing.

    Chang’an (linked to Mazda/Ford and setting up an Engineering Centre in Nottingham) or Geely (the new owner of Volvo with obvious engine/platform synergy) would seem to be more useful potential partners…

  3. @Chris Chapman
    I take your point with regard to either Chang’an or Geely being more suitable potential JV partners for JLR than Chery but do not get your reference to Oden! I assume that you intended to refer to the Norse god, Odin but am still unclear as to what he has in common with the Riich’s roofline…

  4. @Mark Payne
    Mark, you are, of course, correct. The MG5 Turbo gets the 6AT as standard whereas the 1.5 will get the 4AT and 5MT. I will update China Car Times accordingly.

  5. @Mark Payne
    Your comment and the subsequent one from Ash Sutcliffe of China Car Times have prompted me to undertake some more research on the MG5’s likely engine and transmission options.

    I have now edited the relevant paragraph in the above article to reflect my understanding of the current position. However, I think that the information which you have provided will turn out to be correct for UK and European specification MG5s. Mind you, the guys at MG Motor UK have not, as yet, confirmed that the MG5 will be launched here…

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