(MENAFN - AFP) Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and China's Chery Automobile said Sunday they laid the foundation stone for a joint-venture plant in China to build JLR vehicles and new models in the world's biggest auto market.
The companies, which recently got approval from Chinese authorities for the venture, can now speed up work on the factory in the eastern city of Changshu near Shanghai, JLR said in a statement.
"Together, we will now begin working in close collaboration ... to produce relevant, advanced models for Chinese consumers," it quoted JLR CEO Ralf Speth and Chery CEO Yin Tongyao as saying.
The companies' 10.9 billion yuan (1.73 billion) investment also includes an engine manufacturing plant and a research and development centre.
The 50/50 joint venture will also create a new brand to manufacture models "tailored specifically for the Chinese market", the statement said.
Jaguar Land Rover, owned by India's Tata Motors, and Chery plan to complete the Changshu plant sometime in 2014. The name of the partnership -- Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Co -- was announced Sunday.
JLR's release had no details on planned capacity. China's Xinhua news agency said last month it will produce 130,000 vehicles a year, mainly Land Rovers and Jaguars but also some co-branded cars.
Chery, founded in 1997, makes cars, utility vehicles and engines and exports to over 60 countries.