China Brings Back Land Rover’s Most Disliked Model from Oblivion

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By Car Brand Experts


Major Insights

  • Chery and JLR are set to resurrect the Freelander name as a fresh EV brand.
  • The brand-new Freelander line will specialize in “mainstream electric vehicles” in China before expanding globally.
  • Production of Freelander EVs will take place at CJLR’s factory in Changshu, China.



Do you recall the Land Rover Freelander? Sold in the USA as the LR2, this small SUV was phased out when the revamped Discovery Sport (refreshed last year) took over. However, the Freelander name is making a comeback, with JLR granting the brand to its Chinese partner, Chery. The collaboration under the CJLR Joint Venture will bring about the creation and manufacture of new electric vehicles based on Chery’s EV framework and marketed under the Freelander label.


Last utilized in 2015, Freelander will emerge as a brand new entity separate from the current car lineups of JLR and Chery. Initially, Freelander will introduce a range of “mainstream electric vehicles” exclusively in China before branching out to other markets globally.

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Freelander’s Roadmap: Initial Target China, Later Global Reach

Chery and JLR will join hands to position the Freelander brand in the highly competitive Chinese market. These vehicles will be crafted at the CJLR manufacturing hub in Changshu. Presently, this facility produces the Jaguar XFL, Jaguar E-Pace, Land Rover Discovery Sport, and Range Rover Evoque.

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The Freelander initiative will be distinct from JLR’s (Jaguar and Land Rover), so we can anticipate the British carmaker proceeding with its proposed electric vehicles like the Electric Range Rover. Jaguar is also moving towards a full electric lineup by 2025; an all-electric GT car will be unveiled later this year. Chery and JLR have yet to disclose further specifics regarding this novel collaboration, but additional information is expected in the near future.

“Today, we are taking this important strategic step for JLR, one which underlines our ongoing commitment to China and complements our existing business in China. We believe that working together to develop new models of collaboration for the world’s largest and fastest-growing electric vehicle market, combined with the appeal of the Freelander brand, promises a very exciting future for CJLR.”
– Adrian Mardell, JLR CEO

Land Rover Freelander/LR2 side view
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Vehicle by Land Rover 

Chery’s Advanced EV Platform Could Be Utilized for Freelander EV Models

Chery stands out as one of the largest car exporters in China. Its remarkable growth over the last decade has put its latest products on par with those from the Western market. The company has been pushing forward in the realm of electrification. Yin Tongyue, the Chairman of Chery Group, expressed that the fusion of Chery’s cutting-edge EV technology with the distinctive charm of the Freelander brand will undoubtedly deliver a unique electric driving experience to consumers in China and around the world.

Related

China’s State-Owned Chery Plans To Sell Cars In The USA

If it goes ahead, it will be the third attempt at entering the USA.

Rumors suggest that the Chery M3X platform could find its way into Freelander EVs, as reported by Car News China. This platform has the flexibility to accommodate both plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles. Additionally, Jaguar Land Rover is set to leverage Chery’s M3X and E0X platforms (the latter currently hosting the Luxeed EV) in its electric vehicle lineup. If these platforms meet the high standards of top-tier Land Rover, Range Rover, and Jaguar models, they could be a feasible option for the Freelander series. It remains to be seen whether the Freelander brand will concentrate solely on crossovers and SUVs or venture into other automotive categories. Considering the reference to the Freelander name, it’s likely the former.


Source:
Car News China

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