The Freelander Makes a Comeback: A New Era Begins, Distinct from Land Rover

The return of the Freelander: Land Rover’s new electric lineup
Land Rover is reviving the Freelander name for a new series of electric vehicles that will be assembled in China through a partnership with Chery. The vehicles will be sold exclusively in China initially, with plans for global exports in the future. This new lineup will be sold independently from Land Rover and Chery through a distinct retailer network, effectively creating a new sub-brand for the company.

Partnership with Chery
Land Rover’s partnership with Chery goes back 12 years, and the two companies have now inked a new deal to manufacture EVs on a Chery-developed platform at a factory in Changshu. The new models will be designed with input from both Land Rover and Chery, who operate the 50:50 CJLR joint venture formed in 2012. This joint venture is responsible for producing several existing Land Rover models.

Objective of the new lineup
The objective of the reborn Freelander lineup is to offer “mainstream” EVs that will be more affordable than Land Rover’s current vehicles. The models will likely be mechanically related to Exeed, a Chery sub-brand set to launch in Europe by 2026. This move reflects a broader trend among global automakers to deepen ties with Chinese brands to capture the growing EV market in China.

Other partnerships in the industry
JLR is not the only global automaker forging partnerships with Chinese companies for EV production. Volkswagen recently announced plans to work with Xpeng, while Audi detailed a similar agenda with SAIC. These partnerships allow global automakers to leverage the expertise and resources of Chinese companies to develop EVs tailored to the Chinese market.

The return of the Freelander name for Land Rover’s new electric lineup signifies a strategic shift towards more affordable EVs in the Chinese market. Through the partnership with Chery and the creation of a distinct retailer network, Land Rover aims to establish a new sub-brand that will cater to mainstream consumers. With plans for global exports in the future, this move reflects a broader trend in the industry towards deeper collaborations with Chinese companies to tap into the growing EV market in China.

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