MUMBAI, India - Jaguar Land Rover and China's Chery Automobile Co. plan to start a joint venture to make and sell luxury vehicles in China, the companies said Wednesday.

Jaguar Land Rover, which is owned by India's Tata Motors, has long wanted to set up shop in China, one of the company's fastest-growing markets.

China accounted for 1 per cent of Jaguar Land Rover sales in 2005, but is now its third largest market after North America and the U.K. China sales rose 60 per cent in 2011 to 42,000 vehicles.

The joint venture will manufacture engines as well as Jaguar and Land Rover and joint-venture branded vehicles. The companies also plan to open a research and development facility.

"Demand for Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles continues to increase significantly in China and we believe that JLR and Chery can jointly realize the potential of these iconic brands in the world's largest car market," JLR chief executive Ralf Speth and Chery chief executive Yin Tongyao said in a joint statement.

The companies did not disclose financial details of the deal Wednesday, which still needs regulatory approval.

Chery sold 643,000 vehicles in 2011, making it China's sixth largest passenger vehicle manufacturer.