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Freelander nameplate to be revived as standalone China-only brand, using Chery platform

CY Foong · Jun 21, 2024 11:20 AM

Freelander nameplate to be revived as standalone China-only brand, using Chery platform 01

Following months of speculation from the media, JLR has formally announced that it signed a Letter of Intent with Chery to strengthen CJLR’s upcoming electrified products. Both Chery and JLR have been partners in China for 12 years and CJLR is a 50/50 joint venture of the Chinese and British carmakers.

Under the proposed new licensing agreement, CJLR plans to introduce an advanced portfolio of electrified vehicles built on Chery-developed platforms. This new China-only brand will see a familiar name for Land Rover fans.

Freelander nameplate to be revived as standalone China-only brand, using Chery platform 02

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This new lineup will be exclusively using the reborn Freelander name under license from JLR. The original Freelander was introduced by Land Rover in 1997 and lasted for two generations before it was replaced by the Discovery Sport in 2016.

The CJLR Freelander will offer a range of mainstream BEVs that will be initially offered in China through a distinct network but there are plans for global expansion in the future. The vehicles will be built at CJLR’s plant in Changshu.

Freelander nameplate to be revived as standalone China-only brand, using Chery platform 01

Exeed Yaoguang/RX shown, built on the Chery M3X platform

Prior to the official statement from JLR, Chery Chairman Yin Tongyao confirmed rumours on JLR’s adoption of Chery platforms in an interview. Though the Chery-developed platforms are not mentioned officially by JLR, Chery’s high-end sub-brand Exeed confirmed that the two platforms to be used are the M3X and E0X platforms.

The M3X modular platform is dedicated to plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) and can be equipped with Chery’s Super Hybrid powertrain. This combines a petrol-powered engine with two electric motors via a 3DHT165 gearbox that is the world’s first gearbox to adopt 2 e-motors in one body.

Meanwhile, the E0X platform is jointly developed by Chery and Huawei and is mainly designed for BEVs and range extenders (EREVs). The architecture supports an 800V high-voltage system and Level 3 ADAS.

Freelander nameplate to be revived as standalone China-only brand, using Chery platform 02

JLR CEO Adrian Mardell said in a statement, “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.”

CY Foong

Writer

Traded advertising for a career that fits his passion for cars. Enjoys spotting cars during his free time and has a soft spot for Japanese Kei cars but drives a thirsty manual sedan.

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