Wednesday 22 October 2014

JLR to make 130,000 cars a year in China by 2016

By 2016, JaguarLandRover (JLR) expects its new facility in China to be building three JLR models with total production capacity of 130,000 units a year.

Those vehicles will be manufactured in highly-automated press shops - including cutting-edge aluminium and steel technologies - along with a steel body shop comprising 306 ABB 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 aluminium-intensive Jaguar products. The aluminium body shop will replicate technologies developed in the UK at the Solihull facility and will embrace Henrob self-piercing rivet technology and other advanced methods of joining aluminium There will also be a new press shop engineered by Aida Engineering Ltd of Japan.

Chris Bryant, president of Chery JaguarLandRover, said at the official opening yesterday:  "The plant opening marks the completion of our start-up phase of which we are incredibly proud, and now we will continue to build with the same passion and pride, to realise our goal to be the premium automotive manufacturer inspiring excellence in China's automotive industry."

The official opening of marked the company’s inaugural overseas manufacturing facility, in China. The award-winning Range Rover Evoque will be the first model to be built under the first Chinese-British automotive joint venture, with Chery Automobile Company Ltd.

The inauguration of Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Company follows the two-year construction of the factory, which is almost 400,000 square-metres. Located in the Changshu Economic Development Zone north of Shanghai, the factory is part of a RMB 10.9 billion joint venture investment policy.

Significant investment has also 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. Training will be vital in the processing of aluminium as the utmost cleanliness is of prime importance to meeting high quality standards. JLR claims the plant will be the “most advanced and efficient car plant in China”. For many British engineers this will prove to be one of the most exciting yet challenging periods of their lives, that will no doubt pave the way for other opportunities. Many will have already experienced enormous rates of change of progress within JLR, and which now have to be consolidated before regrouping and moving on.  

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 a Greater China Research and Development Centre and engine manufacture. Inaugural sales of the China-made Range Rover Evoque are due to begin in early 2015.

The engine facility is most likely to be heavily based on experience accumulated in the construction of the i54 Wolverhampton, UK, engine plant that will manufacture 2-litre, four-cylinder Ingenium gasoline and diesel engines. The Wolverhampton facility makes extensive use of machining equipment supplied by MAG-IAS, a leading manufacturing technology group with locations in China at Changchun, Beijing and Shanghai. Planning and engineering of the machining, assembly and engine test halls are likely to be modelled on the i54 facility and will be handled from the UK. The new press shop too will gather and redeploy experience gained in operating the new press shops in the UK which will process both steel and aluminium. Again, cleanliness in the press shop will be impressed on all operatives from the outset, bringing with it new regimes in process management not experienced before in China, as well as health and safety.

Mr. Yin Tongyao, chairman and chief executive officer of Chery Automobile Company declared: "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." 

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