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
5 July 2018

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

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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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Comments
7

5 July 2018

JLR agreed to create a new brand with Chery as part of a deal with the Chinese Government. They may be taking the view that reviving the Rover brand in China as part of an electrification strategy would fulfil that commitment nicely. If it fails to work then JLR don't have to waste any more time on an effort that was agreed just to keep the Chinese govenment happy. If on the other hand it works JLR can pump the Rover car brand through it's global network and make some good money out of a brand that could square up to VW and Co.

6 July 2018

JLR will have to accept working with a British joint venture partner if it leaves the UK but wants to sell cars to the UK market.

6 July 2018
max1e6 wrote:

JLR will have to accept working with a British joint venture partner if it leaves the UK but wants to sell cars to the UK market.

 

Morgan? Volumes should be OK as most people leave the country! :-)

6 July 2018

Looks like the reintroduce Rover as a brand idea has been let out of the bag again... Might upset Roewe a bit if they did. Elsewhere Autocar has said that Road Rover might be launched as a brand - please don't do that since one definition of "rove" is " wander" and you certainly don't want that on a road especially if using a new autonomous driving system..... 

6 July 2018

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).

6 July 2018

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!

25 October 2018
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.

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