Currently reading: Jaguar Land Rover and Chery Auto mulling plans for new brand
JLR and its Chinese joint venture partner are reportedly planning the establishment of a new brand as a key part of a global sales strategy

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and its Chinese joint venture partner Chery Auto are reportedly mulling plans for the establishment of a new brand.

The move is a key part of a global sales strategy being developed by the British manufacturer in which it seeks to significantly raise its presence in China, the world’s largest car market.

The proposed new brand – said to be conceived along similar lines to Lynk&Co, the fledgling brand launched by rival Volvo and its Chinese parent company Geely in 2016 – is thought to be positioned in the mid-class, with a heavy emphasis on the electrification of drivetrains and in-car connectivity, according to media reports out of China.

While details of JLR and Chery’s reported plans for a new sub-brand remain under wraps, Chinese automotive industry experts suggest that recent management changes at Chery could be seen as laying the foundation for a comprehensive shift in the joint venture operations between the two companies, which commenced in 2012.

Suspicions as to the plan were raised in the past by JLR's trademarking of the Rover name in numerous countries, as well as trademarking the Rover 55 name – the 55 being a stillborn saloon from the now-dead brand. Given saloons’ popularity in China, this would be a logical place to start for a revived Rover brand.

An official at JLR contacted by Autocar wouldn’t be drawn on the reports that the company is actively seeking to establish a new brand with Chery. However, he did point out that, after a slow start to its joint venture agreement, JLR currently produces four models in China: the Range Rover Evoque, Land Rover Discovery, Jaguar XEL and Jaguar XFL. Additionally, plans have been announced for Chinese production of the Jaguar E-Pace

A JLR spokesman said: "Jaguar Land Rover owns the Rover trademark so regularly files trademark updates to protect the name, as is good practice. There is no foundation to the speculation that we are reviving the brand." The spokesman clarified that no new brand, under any name, is planned.

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EG428i 25 October 2018

Rover as an entry-level brand

If as is being suggested JLR are planning to relaunch the old Rover brand then fantastic and about time. But it really should be an economy brand. JLR already have their luxury brand, Jaguar, and should be looking to grow that so that it can rival the likes of Volvo - the new Jag SUVs are certainly helping to do that. So with a name like Rover, JLR should start moving more into the middle to lower end of the market. The article says the logical place to start is with the saloon in China. Maybe. But even more logical, especially if JLR wants to try and strengthen its place in the European market, is to restart Rover as a sub-brand of Land Rover at the opposite end to the Range Rover sub-brand. Using their existing platforms and developing new ones they could build compact and subcompact crossovers to compete with say Renault's Kadjar amd Captur respectively. The kudos of Land Rover and the relative affordability of such new crossovers would help grow the Rover name quickly in people's minds such that it could soon be broken off as seperate marque altogether. And then it could work its way down through the lower segments starting with, yes, a saloon made in China. That should be in the D segment and as a large family car (rather than compact executive) based on the Jag XE platform. Then, using the platforms they've developed for its crossovers, the longship badge works its way onto a new breed of small and medium cars. Ones to take on any supermini and compact you care to mention. Though maybe a new Rover 200 may not quite match the Polo, Fiesta or Corsa in popularity. Still it could have the effect of making the UK car industry look more like its on a par with France and Germany even if it'll never beat the latter. Yes as a matter of economy these cars may have to be built in China to begin with (especially the saloon) but they could pave the way for opening a new factory in England that could build them and really harness a whole new generation of automotive talent in our own country.
TheBritsAreComing 6 July 2018

Don't forget Jaguar

If JLR wants to revive the Rover brand I'm all for it. But they need to work on the Jaguar brand to raise the quality of their vehicles.

They've come a long way but they're still lagging the competition with lacklustre powertrain options, especially since the demise of the supercharged V6, mediocre interior quality with very limited personalisation options.

The one place where Jaguar does excel is in driving characteristics. I just hope they can pull the other aspects of their vehicles up to scratch... and those elusive Straight 6s can't come soon enough!

Dark Isle 6 July 2018

Good if it's True

I'm quite fond of Rover... well, some Rovers.  When they were good they were brilliant or so close to it (if it wasn't for the 1970s quality issues).