Jaguar and Land Rover – owned now for two years by India’s biggest automaker - will finally enter its own market. But will they start building them there as well?
"We are delighted to be formally entering the Indian market, an economy which is still growing appreciably, and able to offer our premium products to a whole new group of customers,” JLR CEO David Smith said. "It is an important strategic move for Jaguar Land Rover and will enable us to realize our competitive potential in this significant market."
The brands that Indian buyers will initially see will include the Jaguar XF sedan and XK sports car, and the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery/LR4.
The first Jaguar Land Rover showroom will open this June in - where else - Mumbai.
“This is a natural move for both businesses and will allow JLR to establish a strong and deserved presence in India,” said Mr Ravi Kant, Managing Director of Tata Motors, in a press release.
Tata Motors bought both brands from Ford Motor Company in March 2008 for $2.3 billion.
With three plants in the UK, JLR has been struggling in the slowdown and is in talks with the British Government for an £800-million emergency package. So, with the world market shifting eastward, will they start building the iconic British brands in the former British colony?
“Our plan is to sell it as completely-built units just as we are doing in other parts of the world,” said Mr Don Hume, Director-Corporate and Government Affairs, JLR. “Our priority is to establish our brand in India. We expect initial sales volumes to be in the hundreds in the first year,” he added.
Regardless of what the future holds down the road for JLR, this is certainly a smart shift in the right direction.
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