Tata's Jaguar Land Rover rolled out on Tuesday its premium Range Rover Evoque at colourful ceremony in Changshu (China), formally inaugurating its over $1.7 billion factory where it is set to manufacture new Jaguar models in a joint venture with China's Chery Automobile Company by 2016.
Tata Group's chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata, group chairman Cyrus Mistry along with top British and Chinese officials took part in the inauguration of the new plant which has begun production of the cars, which has been one of fast selling luxury brand vehicles in China, the world's largest automobile market.
Speaking on the occasion, Yin said: "Chery Jaguar Land Rover remains committed to delivering excellence in its quest to lead the Chinese premium automotive industry through its historic British lineage, world-class quality and unique shared value approach."
By 2016, the facility is expected to be building three Jaguar Land Rover models with total production capacity of 130,000 units a year.
The local and international media was taken around the plant where 85% of manufacturing is automated through extensive use of robots. However, the engines for the vehicles will be continued to imported from JLR?s British plant until the new facility is created.
The vehicles will be manufactured in highly-automated press shops including cutting-edge aluminium and steel technologies ? along with a steel body shop comprising 306 robots, an energy-efficient paint shop and an ergonomically-friendly final assembly line.
A new aluminium body shop, the first in China, is already under construction, at the Changshu facility, to support the introduction of new Jaguar products.
Significant investment has been committed to training over 2,000 new people in health and safety standards, process systems and problem-solving, as well as the company's quality- control processes and corporate culture, JLR officials said.
The facility in the Jiangsu region, part of the Yangtze River Delta, forms the centrepiece of a joint venture investment that will include the establishment of Greater China Research and Development Centre and engine manufacturing.
Inaugural sales of the China-made Range Rover Evoque are due to begin in early 2015. Further details will be released at the Guangzhou Motor Show later this year.
In a joint statement, Speth and Yin concluded: "We will leverage the complementary strengths of our two businesses to set new standards for manufacturing excellence, quality and sustainability in China. Together, we can look forward to expansion in China with confidence."
Jaguar Land Rover first established a presence in China just over a decade ago and has a long-term commitment to its Chinese customers. Once fully operational, output from the new state-of-the-art facility will include new derivatives and models specially designed for the Chinese market.
The company has developed a compelling CSR programme in China and, earlier this year, created the Jaguar Land Rover Children and Dream Fund, working with the Soong Ching Ling Foundation.
Jaguar Land Rover China will invest RMB 50 million (Over $8 million) over the next three years in an initiative that supports and develops underprivileged young people.
In the last four years, more than 500 apprentices have graduated from the apprentice training programme in China.
In the last fiscal year, Jaguar Land Rover sold more than 100,000 vehicles in China, making it Jaguar Land Rover?s single largest market, JLR officials said.