Tata Motors to assemble Land Rover in India from next year

"We have seen a good response in India for our Land Rover vehicles. We will start assembling them in India from next year," Jaguar Land Rover's Chief Executive Officer, Ralph Speth, told reporters here today.

Jaguar Land Rover was taken over by the home-grown Ratan Tata-spearheaded Tata Motors for USD 2.3-billion from Ford Motor Company in 2008. Besides India, the company also found the Chinese market responsive to the Land Rover. "China is a good market for our Land Rover vehicles. We are looking to increase our market penetration in China, India and other developing countries," he said.

The company also plans to start an assembly line for its luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover Jaguar in China.

"We are looking for strong joint venture partners to start assembly-line operations for our Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR) brands in China, which has emerged as the third-largest global market for Land Rover," Speth said.

However, he did not give any time-frame for starting the assembly-line in China. "We are facing a shortage of engines and working with Ford to boost supplies," he said.

There is a long-term agreement with Ford (up to 2018) in place for supply of engines, he said. The Tata group company today said the Jaguar Land Rover business continued to show strong profitability, with increase in volumes coupled with significantly favourable currency movement in Q1 FY 11, reporting a profit before tax of 233.82 million pounds (Rs 1,590.25 crore).

The company's luxury unit sold 57,153 vehicles compared to 35,947 units in the year-ago period. Sales of the two brands were severely hit soon after Tata Motors acquired Jaguar and Land Rover because of the global economic downturn.

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