BEIJING (Bloomberg) -- Jaguar Land Rover plans to start building vehicles in China by the end of this year.
The company will begin selling a Land Rover SUV built by its Chinese venture with Chery Automobile Co. in Changshu, by early 2015.
"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 auto show on Sunday.
The plant will have an initial annual production capacity of 130,000 vehicles, he said.
Grace did not say which model will be built by the joint venture. "It's going to be a product from the Land Rover stable, so it's going to be an SUV," he said.
The vehicle will have an engine size below 2.0 liters, Grace said.
Manufacturing in China is key to JLR's earnings growth in the world's largest auto market as it will allow the company to avoid the nation's 25 percent import tariff.
Local production will help the carmaker reduce prices by about 15 percent, Grace said.
Jaguar Land Rover's China profits are buoying parent company Tata, India's biggest automaker by revenue, as an industrywide slump in domestic demand dents sales of its namesake brand.