At the backdrop of laying the foundation stone of the new £150 million National Automotive Innovation Centre on University of Warwick campus last week, Ratan N. Tata (Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons) said as the Indian luxury market grows, JLR will do more in the region. The latest development at its Pune plant in regards to locally-manufactured Range Rover Evoque is part of JLR’s plans to expand its manufacturing footprint globally to increase production capacity outside of UK.
As a market base, JLR has plans to go beyond just assembling the marquee car brands in India. At the onset of last weekend, Jaguar Land Rover announced a recall of 36,451 Evoque SUV’s from model years 2014 and 2015 in China owing to software-related complaints. JLR will upgrade gearbox software free of charge, and extend warranty period on affected gearboxes to seven years from date of purchase, up from 3 years, or 240,000 km over the standard 100,000 km warranty, whichever comes first.
China is a big market for JLR and the company has a joint venture with Chery to facilitate local manufacturing to cater to growing demand here. The Indian luxury market though growing in double digits, isn’t that big just as yet having grown to 33,000 plus units in 2014. That number is projected at a lakh units by 2020. With the Range Rover Evoque CKD in sight, Jaguar Land Rover could look at a solid sales boost in the segment. JLR sales for 2014 India are as yet available. In 2013, JLR India closed the year at 22 pct sales growth with 2,913 units sold. India is among Jaguar Land Rover’s top 20 global markets where sales growth has been reported at 20 pct in the last three years. JLR has been present in India since 2009, and at present operates through 22 outlets across 20 cities here.
Moving on from CBU operation to CKD, locally-manufactured Range Rover Evoque (Pure) is now available at a starting price of Rs 48.73 lakhs ex-showroom. Deliveries are expected to begin in early April 2015. Production at the Pune manufacturing plant has tripled since 2011. Range Rover Evoque is the fourth vehicle to be made at the facility alongwith Freelander 2, Jaguar XF and XJ.
Rohit Suri, President of Jaguar Land Rover India says India is a market offers significant opportunities for Jaguar and Land Rover brands. With the locally manufactured portfolio broadened to include Range Rover Evoque, the SUV is clearly available at a more competitive price point to enable the brand to access a wider audience. Jaguar Land Rover’s investment in the Pune facility demonstrates the brand’s continued long-term commitment to the Indian market.