A Range Rover Evoque rolls off the assembly line in Changshu. Photo: Aly Song.

Shanghai - Land Rover has opened its first full overseas manufacturing plant, in China.

The first model to be built there, under the first Chinese-British automotive joint venture with Chery, is the award-winning Range Rover Evoque. Jaguar production is set to follow.

The Changshu factory near Shanghai will have a production capacity of 130 000 vehicles for the Chinese market only. Launch of the Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Company follows the two-year construction of a factory. Ralf Speth, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, and Yin Tongyao, chairman and chief executive of Chery Automobile Company, welcomed the opening of the facility that aims to be “the most advanced and efficient car factory in China.”

By 2016 the factory – with 306 hi-tech robots – is expected to be building three Jaguar Land Rover models with total production capacity of 130 000 units a year.

An aluminium body shop, the first in China, is already under construction at the Changshu facility, to support new Jaguar products.