Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Jaguar Land Rover plans to take on Audi, BMW & Mercedes-Benz

With sleek sedans and tough off-roaders, Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) was among the last international luxury car brands to hop on the gravy train and chug into India.

The German trio of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, which controls about 80 per cent of the domestic luxury car market, has already made India its home, flooding the market with almost everything sold by it internationally.

With nine models, JLR is one of the smaller luxury players in the country by volume. Mercedes-Benz has 13 models with 21 variants, followed by BMW with 11 models and 16 variants and Audi with 13 models. These include imported models too.

However, these volumes are driven by the locally-assembled models. In addition to the Jaguar XF, JLR also assembles the Land Rover Freelander 2 in Pune. Plans are afoot to increase the focus on its Pune plant and assemble more models there.

However, the idea for JLR is not to eke out huge numbers from the luxurious Jaguar F-Type. The model, instead, will act as the crowd-puller, showcasing Jaguar's engineering prowess and capabilities.

Rohit Suri, vice president, Jaguar & Land Rover India, says, "The Jaguar F-Type is going to enhance the appeal of the brand in India. It is going to be the halo-effect car for the brand."

Two variants of F-Type will be available in India: The F-Type S (top speed of 275kmph) and the F-Type V8S (top speed of 300kmph).

They are powered by the new 3.0 litre V6 supercharged petrol engine developing peak power of 380PS, and 5.0 litre V8 supercharged petrol engine producing 495PS, respectively.

The growth in the three-four years before last has been in the range of 40-50 per cent, but mellowed down last year due to trying economic conditions. It is expected that by 2020, the Indian car market will be among the top five in the world.