Jaguar Land Rover has opened its Chinese engine plant as part of its RMB10.9 billion joint venture with Chery Automobile Ltd. The state-of-the-art facility will manufacture the all-new Ingenium 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine for future Chery Jaguar Land Rover vehicles.
During the first six months of the year, Jaguar Land Rover sales have increased by 26 per cent in China. The new engine plant demonstrates Jaguar Land Rover’s long-term commitment to the Chinese market, providing customers with an exciting range of vehicles and powertrain options, as well as to its joint venture.
China continues to be an important market for Jaguar Land Rover. Our sales have increased by 26 per cent during the first half of the year, driven by our discerning Chinese customers’ desire for new, exciting vehicles. Our new engine plant in Changshu supports our strategy to become a more competitive global business. It will strengthen our international manufacturing capabilities and complement our existing facilities in the UK.
— Qing Pan, Executive Director
Operations began at Chery Jaguar Land Rover’s plant less than three years ago and since then it has manufactured more than 100,000 vehicles. It produces the Range Rover Evoque, Land Rover Discovery Sport and, exclusively for the Chinese market, the Jaguar XFL. In addition, it has confirmed that the all-new Jaguar E-PACE will be produced in Changshu from 2018.
Globally, Jaguar Land Rover has made significant investments in new technology and environmental innovation in recent years. The start of production of the Ingenium engine in China supports Jaguar Land Rover’s global vision to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency by making improvements in powertrain, continue its leadership in light-weighting and improve vehicle energy conservation – all without compromise for its customers.
Cutting-edge Engine Manufacturing Technology
Mirroring its sister plant in the UK, the Chinese engine facility includes both machining and assembly halls to manufacture the most advanced engines Jaguar Land Rover has ever produced. At more than 50,000 sq m, the new world-class facility contains a fully flexible production line with exactly 28 robots.
The premium, lightweight, four-cylinder Ingenium family uses the most flexible engine architecture created by Jaguar Land Rover, making them efficient, powerful and capable. Our new engine plant incorporates the latest cutting-edge engine manufacturing technologies from Jaguar Land Rover to deliver the new Ingenium petrol engine to our Chinese customers and today’s opening ceremony is another important milestone for the team in Changshu.
Murray Dietsch, President of Chery Jaguar Land Rover
The machining hall is where the first parts of the engine are made, containing within them the DNA of Jaguar Land Rover’s Ingenium family. It has 97 machines across three production lines – everything from assembly robots to drilling and high-pressure wash machines operate here.
On the first line, the aluminum block begins its transformation from a piece of metal to the technologically advanced heart of the Ingenium engine. It is heated in an oven before undergoing a series of machining operations, always punctuated by high-pressure washes to filter debris away. The cylinder head is created on the second line and undergoes similar processes.
The third line differs as it is machining forged steel rather than aluminum. The steel is milled, turned and drilled to create the crankshaft.
Both automated and manual tests take place throughout each line, ensuring that each component is made to the highest possible standard of quality.
In the assembly hall, the block, cylinder head, and crankshaft move through 17 zones, with approximately 245 components added and rigorous testing undertaken, before joining all three together to form the all-new Ingenium 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine.
The engine is then cold tested, an eco-friendly procedure that ensures the highest quality standards are met before it leaves the assembly line.
Jaguar Land Rover in China
Jaguar Land Rover first established a presence in China over a decade ago. It has over 4,000 employees as well as more than 200 operational retailers. Additional activities include four regional offices, three training academies, and a Land Rover Experience Centre.
Jaguar Land Rover is committed to inspiring future generations of Chinese automotive engineers. The Jaguar Land Rover apprentice training program was created six years ago and today 400 apprentices graduate from its 10 training centers each year.
The company has developed a compelling corporate social responsibility (CSR) program in China, creating the Jaguar Land Rover Children and Dream Fund, working with the Soong Ching Ling Foundation. Jaguar Land Rover has committed to invest RMB 50 million over three years in an initiative that supports and develops underprivileged young people.
Global manufacturing strategy
The UK is the heart and soul of Jaguar Land Rover’s business and remains at the center of the company’s design, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities. Over the past five years, it has employed more than 22,000 people, taking its workforce to more than 42,000. It has invested more than £12 billion in new product creation and capital expenditure.
During this time, the Company has doubled its investment in its engine plant in the UK to almost £1 billion – the largest injection into a new British manufacturing plant in decades, creating several hundred new jobs. In addition, it has invested heavily in its UK vehicle manufacturing facilities at Castle Bromwich, Halewood and Solihull to support the introduction of all-new vehicles such as the Jaguar F-PACE, Range Rover Velar, and Land Rover Discovery.
With plans already in place to take Jaguar Land Rover’s three vehicle manufacturing plants in the UK close to their operating capacity, the creation of overseas manufacturing facilities delivers additional volumes needed to support the company’s future strategy. It allows Jaguar Land Rover to offer its customers even more exciting new vehicles, to protect against currency fluctuations and to build a globally competitive business.
Note: Press release courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover.