New Delhi: Jaguar Land Rover PLC is continuing efforts to build its maiden assembly plant in Brazil and also plans to expand its vehicle assembly operations in India, an executive said, as the UK unit of Tata Motors Ltd. seeks to make deeper inroads into these emerging markets.
The maker of the Jaguar XJ luxury sedan and the Range Rover Evoque sport-utility vehicle is stepping up operations in high-growth markets such as China, Brazil, India and Russia where sales have remained robust despite lagging demand in its traditional strongholds of Europe and the US. In March, the auto maker agreed to form an equal joint venture in China with Chery Automobile Co. to make vehicles in the world's biggest automobile market.
The company sold 274,000 vehicles globally in 2011, up 18 percent. Sales in China climbed 60 percent to 42,000 vehicles. In India, sales during the fiscal year ended March 31 more than doubled to 2,288 vehicles from 891 vehicles.
JLR was taken over by Tata Motors from Ford Motor Co. in 2008 and now contributes bulk of the net profit and revenue of India's largest auto maker by sales.
"JLR is in discussions with a number of parties in Brazil regarding establishing production there," a spokesman for Jaguar Land Rover India told Dow Jones Newswires. He said it was too early to discuss the models that may be produced in Brazil, a growing and important market for the company.
A factory in Brazil will enable Jaguar Land Rover sidestep a 30 percentage points increase in taxes by the government there on cars with less than 65% locally produced parts.
The spokesman said a location for the factory in Brazil has yet to be decided. JLR Chief Executive Ralf Speth said in February the company may choose from any of the three industrial clusters in Brazil.
In India, JLR opened a plant in May last year in the western city of Pune where it assembles the Freelander 2 SUV.
"We are looking at opportunities to expand this operation," the spokesman said. "We see India as a market with significant opportunities for the Jaguar and Land Rover brands."
He declined to elaborate.
The company has three plants in the UK --two at Castle Bromwich and Solihull in the West Midlands, and the third at Halewood in northwest England. It will also spend GBP355 million to build an engine plant in the UK.
First Published: Friday, April 20, 2012, 13:17