Jaguar Land Rover is talking with Great Wall Motor about a potential Chinese joint venture, two executives have said.
Rivals BMW and Audi already have local assembly joint ventures, both producing special long wheelbase models to tap into the chauffeur drive executive car market.
“The two companies are exploring opportunities for a cooperative effort. Senior executives of Jaguar and Land Rover came over and visited our plant earlier this month,” a Great Wall executive told Reuters.
“It’s fair to say that contacts between the two parties have already passed the initial stage, but no final decision has been reached so far,” a second executive with direct knowledge of the talks told the news agency.
Great Wall chairman Wei Jianjun met with Jaguar and Land Rover’s senior executives during their China tour, said the second executive.
A Wall Street Journal last October cited Carl-Peter Forster, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover’s parent company, Tata Motors, as saying the division was in “good discussions” with a Chinese firm to make and market its vehicles. Although Forster would not give further details, he noted that Jaguar Land Rover would like a partner in the country “as soon as possible”.
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“We’re not as strong as we should be (in many markets), most notably in China,” he said at a conference.