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China’s year of the Jaguar

Jaguar Land Rover is to begin building vehicles in China after a £1bn joint venture was approved by Beijing. The British carmaker will partner with Chinese firm Chery Automobile to build a manufacturing plant near Shanghai, due to open in 2015. A research and development centre and an engine production facility are also to be built.

Sales of Jaguar Land Rover have risen in China by 80 percent for the first 10 months of 2012 and the company will be able to avoid costly import duties by producing the cars in the country. It will also aim to use the new plant to produce car models specifically designed to target the Chinese market.

In a joint statement, Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover CEO, and Yin Yongyao, Chairman and CEO of Chery Automobile Company, said: “We are delighted to have reached this milestone, achieved thanks to the understanding and foresight of the Chinese authorities and we want to thank them for recognising the potential of our joint venture in the fast-growing Chinese market.”

Jaguar Land Rover stressed that cars produced in the new Chinese manufacturing plant would be additional output and it had no intention to move its manufacturing base out of its traditional home in the UK.