Jaguar Land Rover would be welcome in a region of China that has much in common with the manufacturing heartland of the West Midlands.
With Jaguar Land Rover keen to establish an assembly plant in China, a government delegation from the Tianjin region visiting Birmingham City Council, said it would be an ideal location for the car maker.
Following a presentation from city council officers, Shen Jiancong, secretary of commission He’xi District, Tianjin, said awareness of the Land Rover brand was high in China, in part because of its traditional association with farming.
He added that given the similarities between the West Midlands and Tianjin, where companies like Toyota and Airbus already have a manufacturing presence, it would represent a good choice for Jaguar Land Rover too.
“I believe there is a great opportunity there,” he said. “Although we did not know of the Jaguar Land Rover proposal and haven’t arranged anything with them, if the company is willing to discuss it with us we would be happy to find the time.”
International investment specialist Mike Loftus, said: “Jaguar Land Rover is actively looking for a location in China to build models for the Chinese market and I would be surprised if Tianjin is not on the list of locations under consideration.”
As the Chinese economy continues to expand, all car manufacturers are establishing a foothold, in part to avoid hefty import taxes on vehicles made outside China.
A top-of-the-range Range Rover priced at more than £100,000 in the UK would cost around three times that in China.
Mr Shen added the visiting delegation aimed to learn from Birmingham’s development and willingness to move from a reliance on traditional manufacturing to embrace the service sector.
He said He’xi in particular, a sub-division of the municipality, had much in common with the city.