BEIJING – Jaguar Land Rover and Chery Automobile Co. are seeking regulatory approval to set up a joint venture in China, according to a report in the China Business News.
The two companies have finished discussions for a manufacturing tie-up, the newspaper said on Monday, citing an unnamed source.
Representatives from both companies said they had no information about the deal.
Chery, China's largest vehicle exporter, and Fuji Heavy Industries had planned to make Subaru vehicles in China, but had failed to get regulatory approval due to potential conflicts with Beijing's industry policy.
JLR, which is owned by Tata Motors, has been looking for a Chinese partner and had contacted a number of automakers, including Great Wall Motor Co.
In May, the British automaker announced record annual profits of 1.04 billion pounds (1.2 billion euros) for 2010, on the back of strong growth in China.
The company has forecast sales of 40,000 units in China for 2011-2012 , up from 26,000 in 2010-2011. The majority of those sales -- 36,000 -- will be Land Rovers, it says.
As part of its growth strategy and investment, JLR is targeting 40 new products over 5 years, as it eyes emerging market growth.
Tata opened a Land Rover Freelander assembly unit at its factory in the city of Pune, India, in May and is placing an emphasis on markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Former Tata CEO Carl-Peter Forster said China is the No. 1 growth market for Jaguar Land Rover in a Bloomberg TV interview in May.
Tata bought JLR from Ford Motor Co. in 2008 for $2.5 billion.
Sources: Reuters; with contributions from David Jolley