JLR to license Freelander brand to develop EVs on Chinese JV partner's platform

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New Delhi: Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover on Wednesday said it has signed a letter of intent with its Chinese joint venture partner Chery to license the Freelander brand to their JV for development of electric vehicles in China.

Under the proposed new licensing agreement, CJLR -- a 50/50 joint venture of Jaguar Land Rover Ltd and Chery Automobile Company Ltd - - will pivot to produce an advanced portfolio of electric vehicles based on Chery's EV architecture, exclusively under the Freelander name, the company said in a statement.

JLR's Freelander brand was a Land Rover vehicle which was produced between 1997-2015. It was succeeded by the Discovery Sport in 2016.

"In reborn CJLR form, Freelander will offer a range of mainstream electric vehicles, initially sold in China through a distinct network but over time destined for global export," the statement said.

The vehicles will be designed in collaboration with both Chery and JLR's creative teams to create a new positioning in the rapidly growing China mainstream New Energy Vehicle (NEV) market. The products will be built at CJLR's existing manufacturing facility in Changshu, it added.

Commenting on the development, JLR CEO Adrian Mardell said, "Today we are taking this important strategic step for JLR, one which underlines our ongoing commitment to China and complements our existing business in China." He further said, "We believe that working together to develop new models of collaboration for the world's largest and fastest-growing electric vehicle market, combined with the appeal of the Freelander brand, promises a very exciting future for CJLR." Chery Group Chairman Yin Tongyue said Chery and JLR are forging an innovative collaboration model that epitomises their growth path for the future.

"The blend of Chery's advanced EV technology with the distinctive appeal of the Freelander brand will undoubtedly provide China and global consumers with a unique electric vehicle experience," Tongyue added.

The Freelander portfolio represents complementary growth, which is independent from both Chery's existing portfolio and JLR's modern luxury 'House of Brands', the statement said.

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