Jaguar Land Rover set to trigger battle royale among luxury car biggies

"Tata Motors' has a strong brand in India, including in passenger and commercial vehicles segments, and this will help the auto giant to take Jaguar Land Rover forward," PwC India Leader (Automotive Practice) Abdul Majeed told PTI.

"Assembling the British marquee in India will give an advantage to Tata Motors to compete with other luxury rivals like BMW, Daimler and Audi. Jaguar Land Rover will have more demand in the market compared to other brands," Majeed said.

The company's models will now compete with SUVs XC 60 from Volvo India, Audi Q5 from Volkswagen AG and BMW's X3, he said.

Tata Motors, which acquired Ford's British marquees Jaguar and Land Rover for USD 2.30 billion in 2008, has announced an ambitious plan for the next few years to tap the growing luxury market in Asia's third largest economy.

"India is rapidly growing, along with China, in luxury segment and we want to tap the opportunity. We will produce 40 new products, including new models and engines, over the next five years to compete with our rivals," JLR Chief Executive Officer Ralf Speth said.

JLR has set up its first assembly plant in India, at Chikhli near Pune, which will assemble Freelander 2 sport- utility vehicles in completely knocked down kits shipped from its Halewood manufacturing facility in Liverpool, UK.

The 2.2 litre Freelander 2 will be available in two variants - TD4 SE automatic and the SD4 HSE automatic and prices start at Rs 33.89 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai).

Tata Motors' sold 27,500 units of Jaguar and Land Rover brands in China and 891 units in India in FY 11.

"Indian premier market is growing rapidly and there is a possibility that India would go up the same way as China. It may take some time, but it will certainly happen," Speth said adding, the company would also start a research and development unit in India.
Tata Motors Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Carl-Peter Forster said setting up an assembly plant in India shows Jaguar Land Rover is increasingly becoming a part of one of the fastest-growing major economies.

"We have a big commitment to the Indian market," he said, adding JLR will increase localisation of vehicles by sourcing components from vendors in India to bring down costs.

Tata Motors imports and sells XJ, XF and XK sedans from the Jaguar range in India and the Freelander, Discovery and Range Rover SUVs from the Land Rover stable.

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