Tata seems to have full control over the JLR brand. A new sports car, a fourth Range Rover, a BMW 3-Series rival and an executive estate, plus new factories in China, stimulating engines and a return of focus to innovation are all on their way.
Way back in 1998, the F-Type was first seen in the form of the XK180 concept. Unfortunately, this concept never saw reality and had been delayed constantly as JLR struggled with its finances. There’s good news now as Tata has promised to invest £1 billion every year for the next five years. So, a driver-focused sports car is sure on the cards.
But, there’s bad news too. In spite of the new product investment and advanced technologies, Tata would be closing one of its UK factories. The car maker feels that it is much better to have one large factory, than two small ones. As of now, Jaguar Land Rover is assessing the future of its two West Midlands plants in Solihull and Castle Bromwich. An announcement about the future of the locations will soon be made. Part of JLR operations will move to India and China. But neither of the two countries will replace the UK as JLR’s centre.
Have you seen the new Jaguar Land Rover dealership in Hyderabad? It’s awesome! JLR will also be opening a new plant in China by 2012. With a production target of around 30,000 units per year, the factory is set to build Defender, Discovery and Freelander models from UK-supplied kits. India too will have a similar set-up. Business in the emerging markets is going to be head-strong.
Tata, producer of the world’s cheapest car Nano, said that it is still talking to interested partners to avoid steep taxes on imported vehicles. Land Rover assembles a small number of its Defender large utility vehicles in South-East Asia and South Africa. JLR plan to begin small volume complete knock down (CKD) production of Land Rovers in India by 2011.
Jaguar is all set with the estate version of its XF saloon for the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, and, posing beside the XF estate will be another major new Jag: the XJ concept. The R versions of both the XF and XK and the new high-performance XF Diesel S will soon enter the JLR family. The car showcased at the Frankfurt Motor Show will be a thinly disguised production model, although referred to as a concept. The car maker hopes to see a positive reaction on beholders’ faces. If positive, the concept will turn into reality in no time. The XF saloon has already been a great hit and has won plenty of awards. So the car maker is right about thinking of expanding the XF range.
The same new 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel powering the XF saloon may be available in the new cars in two pretexts: the S, with 271 bhp and 600 Nm of torque, or a toned-down version delivering 238 bhp and 500 Nm. The powerful car may leap from 0-100 kmph in six seconds. As for the petrol line-up, customers will have the choice of a 238 bhp 3.0-litre V6 or the all-new 5.0 V8 churning out 397 bhp or an unbelievable 503 bhp when fitted with a supercharger in the XFR. The newcomers may beat even established class leaders like the Audi RS6 Avant, BMW M5 Touring and the Mercedes E63 AMG estate.
The XFR wagon promises 0-100 kmph in less than five seconds and a 250 kmph top speed. The suspension may be a little different, but the estate will share the same wheelbase and mechanicals as the XF saloon. Jaguar says that the four-door XF is selling extremely well.
Jaguar dreams don’t just stop there. The car maker is also considering producing coupé and cabriolet versions of the XF, completing the range in style. By 2012, JLR will begin building vehicles in China to strengthen its position in a growing luxury car market and reduce manufacturing costs. Both car makers, JLR and Tata, have confirmed that Land Rovers would be the first to roll off Chinese assembly lines, with the view to produce as many as 40,000 vehicles when both brands are up and running.
Jaguar Land Rovers UK workforce was cut from 18,500 to 16,000 in 2009. But now, around 1000 extra staff will be employed to help with production of the Land Rover LRX. Since June 2009, around 8 per cent of JLR sales have been in China. Land Rover sales increased by 55 per cent in China while Jaguar sales were up by 38 per cent.
Tata, producer of the world’s cheapest car Nano, said that it is still talking to interested partners to avoid steep taxes on imported vehicles. Land Rover assembles a small number of its Defender large utility vehicles in South-East Asia and South Africa. JLR also plan to begin small volume complete knock down (CKD) production of Land Rovers in India next year.
Image Courtesy: Auto Express