(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Fri, 21 July 2017) London, Uk – –
Jaguar Land Rover has opened its first engine plant outside the UK, picking China for the new facility.
The company already has a joint venture in the country with Chery, and the car maker said the new facility was part of a 10.9bn yuan (£1.2bn) investment partnership with the domestic firm.
“The new engine plant demonstrates JLR’s long-term commitment to the Chinese market, providing customers with an exciting range of vehicles and powertrain options, as well as to its joint venture,” the company said in a statement.
JLR’s Ingenium 2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine will be produced at the new factory in Changshu.
Opening the new plant comes a week after Jaguar launched its new E-Pace small SUV, which is expected to be the company’s biggest seller when it hits the roads at the end of the year.
Already Britain’s biggest car maker, with more than 500,000 cars rolling off its UK production lines last year, the E-Pace is expected to drive JLR closer to its target of producing 1m cars a year.
A smaller, all-electric SUV, the I-Pace, will follow next year, allowing JLR to accelerate its progress towards that target.
The E-Pace will be a first for the company in that unlike others cars in its range none of it will be produced in Britain. Although JLR has plants in China and Brazil and is building another in Slovakia, at the moment at least part of the production of all models is in the UK.
At the E-Pace’s glitzy launch, when the car performed a record-breaking barrel-roll stunt, JLR revealed that the small SUV would be built by contract manufacturer Magna Steyr in Austria, with the car later being produced in China.
JLR is racing to open new factories to meet demand for its premium vehicles, as its plants in the Midlands are all at maximum capacity.
With Britain preparing to leave the EU, the car industry also fears that it could be hit with huge cost increases in the form of import and export tariffs if the UK cannot secure a free trade deal. Building more plants and expanding production inside the EU would help reduce the impact of such measures.
By Alan Tovey