JLR to launch `several` models; to drive out hybrids

Last Updated: Sunday, August 2, 2009 - 12:15

New Delhi: Undeterred by losses of over Rs
1,700 crore, Tatas-owned Jaguar Land Rover will launch a
number of new models, including hybrids, in the coming years
and has plans to roll out all its future cars with
light-weight aluminium bodies for reducing carbon emissions.

"Several new models are under development and will be
released in the market in the coming years. These will widen
the project range and re-energise the range," Tata Group chief
Ratan Tata said in Tata Motors Annual Report for 2008-09.

Some new models of Land Rover would also be introduced in
the coming years, he added.

On introducing new technologies at JLR, Tata said, "JLR
is planning to have all its future cars constructed with light
weight aluminum bodies resulting in considerable savings in
weight, and reduction in CO2 emissions.

"Important new technology development programmes at JLR
include the development of a hybrid powertrain which will be
introduced in future models of Jaguar and Land Rover."

JLR has recently launched the new premier sedan XJ from
Jaguar stable, deliveries of which would start from next year.
The company also aims to create the next iconic sports cars to
rekindle the glory of this venerable brand.

The two British marquees had made a loss of Rs 1,777.35
crore (before interest, exceptional items and tax) in 2008-09
due to global meltdown, while the income from JLR sales stood
at Rs 39,270.70 crore. It had also laid off over 2,000 staff.

Tata said the sales of Jaguar and Land Rover declined by
20 percent and 51 percent respectively, during the
October-March period of the last financial year.

He, however, defended the USD 2.3-billion acquisition
of the brands from Ford and said, "I strongly feel that in
later years we can look back on the JLR acquisition and say to
ourselves that this was a very worthwhile strategic
acquisition and one which has brought us considerable
technology and global presence."

"The main challenge in JLR will be to sustain operations
through this difficult period arising from the global
financial meltdown. There is a good reason to believe that the
company`s new products and more aggressive marketing will see
the company through this period," he added.

Tata further said JLR would undertake a "change" from
some of the traditional practices with a "commitment to
encourage change and to major cost reduction and reduction of
development and productionising time".

"I feel confident that if we can sustain our operations
through this difficult period, taking whatever steps we need
to take to see the year through, we could overcome all
obstacles in our path," he added.

Besides, JLR is working on identifying sources to supply
components from India, which would recognise engineering and
computer aided design capabilities within Tata Motors and
marketing synergies in various geographies, Tata said.

"Tata Motors on the other hand has recognised the high
level of technology and skills embedded in JLR which could be
of great value to both the companies," he added.

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, August 2, 2009 - 12:15

comments powered by Disqus