China in Jaguar Land Rover rescue act with 600 mn pound deal

February 28th, 2009 - 7:55 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 28 (IANS) China has come to the aid of beleaguered Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover carmaker with a massive order of 13,000 vehicles.
The order, for both Land Rover and Jaguar cars and worth 600 million pounds, was described by Jaguar as “very significant” and particularly welcome at “this challenging time”.

The Chinese business SCAS Investment Group, a major JLR client, Friday signed a memorandum of understanding to buy 10,000 Land Rovers and 3,000 Jaguars over three years.

JLR said: “This shows an immediate commitment in us from them and gives us a solid base to build up our business in China. The initiative came from the Chinese government, which pulled together this trade package.”

The order came amid a sharp fall in car sales in Britain with both the luxury marques having cut hundreds of jobs recently.

The Financial Times reported: “JLR sold about 13,000 vehicles in China last year, so the order would not be remarkable outside a time of recession. What is probably more important is the assumption of the Chinese that the company will still be in business in three years’ time.”

China is JLR’s fifth-largest market and although car sales in China have also fallen, the slump in the Asian country has been less severe than in Britain.

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