Tuesday, December 30th 2014. | Auto & Motor, Car

The brand-new, BMW 3 Series-fighting 2017 Jaguar XE will be built in China, making it the brand’s first model to be manufactured in the Asian country, Auto News reports. Speaking to Jaguar Land Rover global fleet director Ken Forbes, Automotive News Europe learned that the midsize premium sedan will be built alongside the Land Rover Evoque and land Rover Discovery Sport at the company’s assembly plant in Changshu. Although Jag declined to say when XE production would begin, since European sales of the XE start in May, the first sedans are expected to roll off the assembly line in the first half of 2015.

Jaguar’s decision — although not yet official — to make the XE the first China-built model isn’t surprising. According to JLR sales operations director Andy Goss, the XE is expected to help boost Chinese sales beyond the 20,000 units delivered throughout 2014. “Our spearhead vehicle for China is the XE and we think it could make significant inroads — it’s inevitable that’s going to be case,” Goss said.

Even though the British automaker hasn’t confirmed whether it will build a long-wheelbase XE version, such a variant is very likely considering China’s demand for roomier interiors. Long-wheelbase versions of the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class are already popular in China and a stretched XE is obviously mandatory for the local market.

Click past the jump to read more about the Jaguar XE.

Jaguar XE will be Built in China originally appeared on topspeed.com on Tuesday, 30 December 2014 19:00 EST.

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