LONDON -- Jaguar Land Rover opened its first overseas engine plant on Friday, picking China for the investment.
Britain's biggest carmaker, which already operates a plant in China as part of a partnership with Chery, said the new facility was part of a 10.9 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) investment with the Chinese automaker.
"The new engine plant demonstrates Jaguar Land Rover’s long-term commitment to the Chinese market, providing customers with an exciting range of vehicles and powertrain options, as well as to its joint venture," JLR said in a statement.
The site in Changshu will make the new Ingenium 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine.
JLR's car plant in Changshu opened less than three years ago. The Range Rover Evoque, Land Rover Discovery Sport and a long wheelbase Jaguar XFL are built in the factory. The Jaguar E-Pace compact SUV will be added next year.
China was JLR's fastest growing market in 2016, accounting for 20 percent of global sales.
JLR, owned by India's Tata Motors, is rapidly expanding its production levels and model line-up and decided in 2015 to build a major new plant in Slovakia, rather than expand its operations in Britain.
Earlier this month, the automaker said it would build the new E-Pace at Magna Steyr in Austria and in China, the first Jaguar car made for global sale to be built outside of Britain.
Like much of the British car industry, JLR is worried that Brexit could leave its car exports facing lengthy customs delays and tariffs of up to 10 percent, jeopardizing the viability of production in Britain.