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JLR to resurrect Freelander name for EVs built in China

Posted on 19 Jun 2024. Edited by: John Hunter. Read 438 times.
JLR to resurrect Freelander name for EVs built in ChinaBuilding on their 12-year relationship and well-established CJLR joint venture, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Chery Automobile Company Ltd have signed a Letter of Intent to strengthen CJLR’s product offer for the next era of electrification in China. The new model of collaboration leverages fully both parties' complementary strengths – with Chery holding a leading automotive market position in China, while JLR has unrivalled heritage and design strength – creating mutually beneficial prospects for the future.

Under the proposed new licensing agreement, the CJLR joint venture will pivot to produce an advanced portfolio of electric vehicles (EVs) based on Chery’s EV architecture, exclusively under the Freelander name. Marking the beginning of a new strategic phase for CJLR, Freelander will become a brand reborn under license from JLR as part of a new value creation system independent from both Chery’s existing portfolio and JLR’s modern luxury House of Brands.

JLR’s 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 there 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.”

Yin Tongyue, chairman of Chery Group, added: “Chery and JLR are forging an innovative collaboration model that epitomises our 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 EV experience.”

JLR’s Freelander brand was a Land Rover vehicle which was successfully produced between 1997-2015. It was succeeded by the Discovery Sport in 2016. In reborn CJLR form, Freelander will offer a range of mainstream EVs, initially sold in China through a distinct network but over time destined for global export.

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.