Tata Motors’ British subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover just opened the automaker’s first Chinese production plant in the city of Changshu, just 110 kilometers (70 miles) northwest of Shanghai.
During the inaugural event of the 130, 000-unit-a-year assembly facility, executives of the luxury automaker also expressed their views of the world’s largest auto market. Land Rover now wants to reach a 10% market share penetration in the premium SUV segment as the plant allows the brand to cut prices and deliver cars to local customers faster. The first model to come up the production line is the Range Rover Evoque and the company would later also introduce the brand new Discovery Sport (the successor to the Freelander). The production lines would build three models in 2016, including one – yet to be named – Jaguar product.
Bob Grace, the Gaydon, England-based division’s China president says the biggest market on Earth is already Jaguar Land Rover’s main “client” and the division expects to reach sales of 120,000 units this year.
According to JLR, the local production of the best-selling Evoque allows the company to cut its price by around 15%, in a move that would better position the make against Chrysler’s Jeep and VW AG’s Audi offerings.