British premium carmaker Jaguar Land Rover will start manufacturing new vehicles in China during the fourth quarter of 2014, as construction on a new plant is underway as scheduled.
Currently, at the new facility in Changshu, Jiangsu province, test operations at the body shop are underway.
The new plant, a joint venture between Jaguar Land Rover and Chinese automaker Chery will have a total capacity of 130,000 units a year, will cost about $1.8 billion and will help JLR to avoid the 25 percent import tariff.
In March 2012, Chinese carmaker Chery and British Jaguar Land Rover announced plans to invest an initial US$2.78 billion in a new Mainland China-based joint venture to manufacture Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles and engines, as well as the establishment of a research and development center and the creation of a new automobile marque.
The new facility underlines the high ambitions of Jaguar-Land Rover in China – a key market for the luxury brand. The automaker competes with Germany’s Audi, Mercedes and BMW.
Last year JLR sold 95,237 new cars in China – up 30 percent compared to 2012. Globally, sales of luxury JLR vehicles rose 19 percent in 2013 to 425,006 vehicles.
The automaker has manufacturing operations in India and announced a new plant for Brazil. In Brazil production is expected to begin in 2016.