Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) recently inaugurated its first manufacturing facility outside the UK with the new plant in mainland China. Located at the Changshu Economic Development Zone north of Shanghai, the factory will first produce the Range Rover Evoque and in 2 years time, will be able to make 3 other JLR nameplates that will be sold to the Chinese market alone.

The facility covers 400,000 square-meters and is part of a joint venture investment plan between JLR and Chery Automobile Company (CAC) that costs RMB 10.9 billion (about PHP 79.8 billion). The vehicles that will be produced at the facility will make use of steel body shops comprised of 306 robots, automated press shops that include aluminum and steel techology, an energy-efficient paint shop, and an ergonomically friendly final assembly line according to JLR. A new aluminum body shop that will be a first in China is still being constructed and will be used in creating Jaguar products. By 2016, the facility is expected to create 3 other JLR nameplates and have a production capacity of 130,000 units per year.

A Range Rover Evoque being finished

"The opening of this world-class facility is an important milestone for Jaguar Land Rover. Since its launch, one in five Range Rover Evoques have been sold in China. Our decision to manufacture the Range Rover Evoque in Changshu is a result of our commitment to bringing more Chinese vehicles to Chinese customers,” said Dr. Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover.

Yin Tongyao, CEO of CAC highlighted the growth of the automotive industry of China.

"Chery Jaguar Land Rover remains committed to delivering excellence in its quest to lead the Chinese premium automotive industry through its historic British lineage, world-class quality and unique shared value approach,” said Tongyao.

An employee checking the rear of the China-made Evoque

Besides the manufacturing plant, another facility will be built in the Jiangsu region and will be the centerpiece of the joint venture as it will become the Greater China Research and Development Center and Engine Manufacturing of Chery Jaguar Land Rover.

Inaugural sales of the China-made Range Rover Evoque will begin at the start of 2015. Further details will be released at the 2014 Guangzhou Motor Show in November.