Pan Qing will become the first-ever mainland-born Chinese national to serve as a board member of a premium automotive brand when his appointment at Jaguar Land Rover takes effect on Jan 1, 2017.

The British brand said on Monday that Pan will serve as its global board member, China president and also a board member at the brand's joint venture Chery Jaguar Land Rover.

He will report directly to JLR CEO Ralf Speth, who said "Pan will be responsible for leading our business in China – Jaguar Land Rover's most important market".

This appointment is expected to ensure "aligned leadership and one clear voice" across all Jaguar Land Rover activities in China, said a JLR statement.

Pan, who previously worked at Volkswagen AG, said he is "thrilled" to take up the new position and "the opportunity to lead and grow Jaguar Land Rover in China is one that I relish and I look forward to working with new colleagues, dealers, partners and all stakeholders to ensure this happens".

Richard Shore, who has served as acting president of JLR China after Bob Grace left the role in July 2015, will focus full-time on his role as the company's chief financial officer.

Industry insiders believe Pan's appointment will further boost JLR's sales performance in China, its largest market worldwide. The automaker sold 93,251 cars in the first 10 months of 2016, a 30 percent surge year-on-year, faster than the average growth rate of the premium car sector.

Editor: Zeng Yunheng