Jaguar Land Rover to hit Indian roads in June (Lead)

May 1st, 2009 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, May 1 (IANS) Tata Motors-owned British luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is set to launch its premium brands in the Indian market next month, the company said in a statement Friday.
“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,” a JLR statement said.

“It is an important strategic move for Jaguar Land Rover and will enable us to realise our competitive potential in this significant market,” JLR chief executive David Smith said in the statement.

In India the JLR’s first showroom will open at Mumbai’s Ceejay House in Worli in June. The import and sales will be managed by Tata Motors’ newly-formed luxury car division.

Jaguar and Land Rover were acquired by India’s Tata Motors from American carmaker Ford last March for 1.7 billion pounds (about $2.5 billion)

The luxury cars will be imported by Tata Motors, which is also the manufacturer of the world’s cheapest car - Nano, and will be sold through its sales and dealership network.

The initial lineup will include the Jaguar XF, Discovery and Range Rover models.

The moves comes as a logical step for the automaker to tap into India’s growing luxury car market.

“This is a natural move for both businesses and will allow Jaguar and Land Rover to establish a strong and deserved presence in India. We are very pleased to provide the opportunity for Indian customers to access the premium products for the first time,” Tata Motors managing director Ravi Kant said in a statement.

The India debut comes at a time when JLR, with production facilities at Halewood, Solihull and Castle Bromwich in Britain, has been hit by the recession in Europe and is seeking a 800 million pound rescue package from the British government.

The company, which has a workforce of over 15,000, has retrenched 450 workers this year and is looking at 198 voluntary retirements in its managerial team to cut costs.

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