(Adds Chery spokesman's quote, details)
BEIJING, Sept 21 Jaguar Land Rover and Chery
Automobile Co Ltd have won regulatory approval to
form a 12.1 billion yuan ($1.92 billion) car venture in China,
the Chinese automaker said on Friday.
The deal would help raise the profile of Chery, a mass
volume player aspiring to gain access to the lucrative upscale
segment dominated by foreign brands.
It also marks Jaguar Land Rover's latest effort to expand
its appeal in the world's largest auto market, where luxury
sedans and SUVs remain in hot demand even as the overall car
When asked to confirm a local media report that the project
had won approval from the National Development and Reform
Commission (NDRC), a Chery spokesman said: "We heard the project
has been approved, but we have yet to receive the official
notice from NDRC."
The Chery-JLR venture will be based in Changshu city near
Shanghai with an annual capacity of 130,000 cars. The partners
will make Land Rover SUVs initially, followed by Jaguars in the
Earlier in the year, JLR and Chery received the green light
for the venture from China's environment ministry.
JLR, controlled by India's Tata Motors Ltd, had
previously explored joint venture deals with other Chinese
partners, including Great Wall Motor Co Ltd
, but made little headway.
The Chery tie will give JLR a local production base in
China, where global luxury markers including BMW,
Mercedes-Benz and Audi are tapping into the growing ranks of
(Reporting by Fang Yan in BEIJING and Kazunori Takada in
SHANGHAI; Editing by Michael Urquhart)
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