Jaguar dealerships to fire market in India
Indian car giant Tata Motors has announced the opening of a new series of Jaguar dealerships in India, the first move in a plan to market the Midlands-made luxury cars to the growing market in the sub-continent.
The move comes as the fortunes of Jaguar Land Rover look set to be on the turn, with a good end to 2009 coming after a torrid period for the auto firm.
Tata said it had started proceedings to set up new dealers in New Delhi, Hyderabad and Ludhiana, in the Punjab.
The firm added: “This marks the first phase of expansion of the Jaguar and Land Rover network in India beyond Mumbai.”
Rajiv Dube, the president of the passenger car business unit at Tata Motors, said: “The newly-identified dealer partners displayed a great degree of passion, market knowledge and capability to nurture and grow the two iconic brands in their respective territories and we are confident that they will enable us to tap the full competitive potential in those markets. We have further plans to expand into other major metros and the process of identification of suitable partners in other cities will continue through the new year of 2010.”
The announcement was made at the New Delhi Auto Expo this week, at which Tata unveiled a new range of cars.
As well as a number of new Tata lines, it was the first official Indian outing for the flagship Jaguar XJ, which had its global launch in London last year.
Tata Motors currently distributes the Jaguar XF, Jaguar XFR & XKR in India, which will be joined by the XJ as well as Land Rover’s new 2010 model year range – the Free Lander 2, Discovery 4, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.
Three local dealers have been given the job of running the new Jaguar outlets. They are expected to start selling Jaguars to Indian customers by the second quarter of the year.
Tata Motors managing director Ravi Kant said he was expecting that 2010 would be much better for the Indian car industry than previous years, with more choice in the consumer market.
But he said the Indian government still needed to support the automotive industry, particularly the commercial vehicle side of business.
“Government should invest very heavily on infrastructure particularly roads and they should continue with the stimulus,” he said.
Jaguar Land Rover, which was bought by Tata Motors in 2008, has seen encouraging signs, with a 30 per cent rise in global sales announced in November. With more than half of Tata Motors revenue coming from JLR, the British firm is key to its owner’s future.
JLR posted a profit of £22 million for the quarter to September, compared with a loss of £49 million in the quarter before, after trimmingh to slimmer operating costs.