India’s Tata Motors, the parent company of British automaker Jaguar Land Rover, sees the introduction of the new Jaguar XE sedan at home in the UK as the first step in lifting both sales and profits at its luxury brand.
The Jaguar XE just started sales in Great Britain, being taken directly off the assembly lines at the once endangered Solihull factory in the West Midlands. The entry-level sports sedan has set its sights squarely on the big segment’s players – the German premium trio. “People who buy cars in this market stay very loyal. We are the new arrival in the playground and aiming to punch the three biggest kids on the nose,” commented Jeremy Hicks, the director of Jaguar Land Rover for the Economic Times. ”The XE will bring the average age of the Jaguar driver down significantly.” Tata acquired the loosing Jaguar Land Rover unit back in 2008 from America’s second largest automaker, Ford. And the company spearheaded one of the major turnarounds of late automotive history in just a few short years. While back then the Solihull facility was in danger of being axed, the Indians poured around one billion pounds, with the two brands tripling production to around 240,000 units annually and the plant’s force has doubled to 9,000 people.
The recovery strategy has been so successful that lately JLR profits have actually propped the parent company’s financial ledgers – after the Indian carmaker entered turmoil because of selling sales at home. Tata Motors has gone up around 130 percent over the past half decade, thanks mainly to the growth registered by the British marquees. Land Rover is being lifted by the global surge in demand for crossovers and sport utility vehicles, with Jagaur also deciding to enter the territory with the upcoming F-Pace model. By then though, the primary sales driver should be the new, aluminum intensive XE model.