Land Rover fires up its China plant

The 2015 Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept is introduced during the 2014 New York International Auto Show.Photo / AP
The 2015 Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept is introduced during the 2014 New York International Auto Show.Photo / AP

Tata Motors's Jaguar Land Rover unit plans to start making cars in China by the end of this year.

"They start to make the first prototype bodies this week, and it's almost a miracle that's come out of the ground in such a short period of time," Jaguar Land Rover China president Bob Grace said at the Beijing motor show. "It's going to be a product from the Land Rover stable, so it's going to be an SUV," he said, without identifying the model.

The maker of Range Rover SUVs and Jaguar F-Type convertibles expects to begin selling the SUV, built by its Chinese venture with Chery Automobile Co in Changshu, by early next year.

The vehicle will have an engine size of less than 2 litres.

Manufacturing in China is important to JLR's earnings growth in the world's largest car market as it enables companies to avoid the country's 25 per cent import tariff.

The plant will have an initial annual production capacity of 130,000 vehicles.

Jaguar Land Rover's China profits are buoying parent company Tata, India's biggest carmaker by revenue, as a slump in domestic demand dents sales of its namesake brand.

- NZ Herald

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