By on March 21, 2012

After years and years and years of rumors and premature announcements, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has finally, honestly, cross your heart and swear to fry, “finalized a joint venture agreement with Chery Automobile Co to manufacture and sell vehicles in China,” Reuters reports.

The never-ending story however is just beginning. As Reuters rightly points out, “JLR, owned by India’s Tata Motors (TAMO.NS), and Chery are seeking regulatory approval for the 17.5 billion yuan ($2.78 billion) venture in eastern China.”

That regulatory approval never was easy, and now it is harder than it used to be. The fact that Chery is an independent maker and (at least not officially) tied to some government, won’t make the matter easier.

Chery has some experience with that. Previously, the maker of QQs had tried to forge a joint venture agreement with Japan’s Subaru. That had been turned down. Fuji Heavy was told the application was denied because Subaru “is an affiliate of Toyota Motor Corp.” Toyota already has two joint ventures in China, and a company can’t have more than two. Or so the tortured reasoning went.

Knowing this, JLR and Chery wisely put a Chinese research and development facility into their business plan. China has enough carmaking capacity. China wants more know-how.

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One Comment on “Jaguar Land Rover Coming To China. Honestly Now...”


  • avatar

    I suspect the NDRC will make Chery sweat this one out, but eventually they’ll approve it. As much as China would like to stop supporting foreign investment, the whole reason the foreigners were invited in the first place has yet to be achieved. China’s automakers still lack the ability to design cars the Chinese public (or at least 71% of them) want to drive.

    One point on Chery’s status. While they may be “independent” (meaning they, until now, have lacked a foreign OEM partner), they are most definitely state-owned. Their largest shareholder is the City of Wuhu, and their second largest is Anhui province. (And they won’t tell anyone who their other shareholders are.)


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