Jaguar Land Rover may have plans for a new brand in China with its local joint venture partner, Chery.
While Lynk & Co. is meant to expand outside of China, JLR's new brand will reportedly focus on the Chinese market. The automaker denied the latest rumors in a statement to Autocar, but Chinese auto industry analysts believe otherwise. A number of management shuffles inside Chery are seen as a precursor to a new brand and a shift in JLR and Chery's joint venture strategy.
The brand will allegedly target mid-range buyers and focus heavily on electrification and in-car technology. JLR announced last month that it will raise its total electrification investment to $18 billion after it said last September that every new Jaguar and Land Rover vehicle would feature an electrified variant post-2020. The 25 percent increase in the electrification investment did not include details on the Chinese auto market, however.
As for the new brand's name, Autocar believes it could be Rover. JLR owns the rights to the Rover name and regularly files to continue trademarking it. A JLR spokesperson, however, added that "There is no foundation to the speculation that we are reviving the brand," when asked about the most recent trademark filing.
JLR is also working with parent automaker Tata of India. Last February, Tata showed off the H5X concept—an SUV riding on a modified version of Land Rover's LR-MS platform. The architecture underpins the current Land Rover Discovery and will feature on the next-generation Range Rover Evoque.