Press Report : Jaguar Land Rover still seeking a partner for Chinese JV

Automotive News Europe/Reuters, 7 May 2011

Jaguar Land Rover is still seeking a partner in the fast-growing Chinese market as it plows more than £5bn ($8.2 billion) into developing new vehicles over the next five years.

India’s Tata Motors Limited, which bought JLR from Ford Motor Co. in 2008, wants the British brands to better compete with rival carmakers such as Germany’s BMW AG, which earlier this month outshone its rivals with a sharp increase in first-quarter sales, fueled by demand for its cars from China.

Tata Motors hopes to benefit from growing demand for luxury brands, particularly in emerging economies such India and China, where the company is considering opening a factory.

‘The question is shall we manufacture in China in the future? For this you need a local partner, so we are talking to local partners,” Carl-Peter Forster, Chief Executive Officer of Tata Motors told Reuters Insider television on Friday.

‘We would have to create a very complex joint venture including engineering, manufacturing and certain sales and marketing activities and we’re currently talking to partners about the scope such a joint venture could have,’ he added.

JLR is also busy developing on new products in the UK, where the carmaker is based, and will work with Formula One race team Williams on engine design as part of a five-year plan.

‘We plan to spend £1bn-plus a year on product creation over the short to medium term, which you could say was about five years, a JLR spokesman said. ‘Product creation includes research and development and capital expenditure. This comes on top of 40 planned new product actions, which includes new models, derivatives and power trains such as hybrids and engines.’

German carmakers in particular have been riding a wave of demand in China and other developing economies. BMW’s strong results echo those of Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG, whose growth was also driven by emerging markets.

[Source: Automotive News Europe/Reuters]

[Editor’s Note: Any AROnline readers wishing to view the Reuters Insider interview with Carl-Peter Forster  upon which this article was based should click on that link.]

Clive Goldthorp

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