JLR and Chery have signed a letter of intent to strengthen the offering of CJLR, an established joint venture between the companies, for the next stage of electrification in China. Through the partnership, the companies will look to leverage their respective strengths – namely Chery’s popularity in the China market and JLR’s experiences in vehicle design.

Under the proposed new licensing agreement, the CJLR JV will pivot to produce an advanced portfolio of EVs based on Chery’s EV architecture, exclusively under the Freelander name. Marking the beginning of a new strategic phase for the JV, Freelander will become a brand reborn under license from JLR as part of a new value creation system independent from the vehicle portfolios of both Chery and JLR.

The Freelander name was once attached to a Land Rover vehicle produced between 1997 to 2015 and succeeded by the Discovery Sport in 2016. Through CJLR, the revitalized Freelander brand will offer a range of mainstream EVs that initially sold in China through a distinct network, but over time destined for global export. The EVs themselves will be designed through a close collaboration between Chery and JLR’s creative teams with the aim to create a new positioning in China’s rapidly-growing New Energy Vehicle market, and will be produced at CJLR’s existing manufacturing facility in Changshu, a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Suzhou, Jiangsu province.