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



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