Jaguar Land Rover efforts to take China back image

Tata Motors-owned car brand, Jaguar Land Rover, is lining up its “soldiers” in an effort to win the battle over the Chinese luxury car market.

Following its significant loses on the Chinese market in the last few months, due to a combination of demand decrease and a physical loss of 5,800 vehicles in the Tianjin port blast, Tata Motors is contemplating the introduction on the market of three luxury models, expected to boost sales: the new Jaguar XF and the locally-produced Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport. According to the Group Chief Financial Officer C. Ramakrishnan, Tata Motors envisages a substantial impact on margins with “many” new introductions by the luxury unit in the next two years. The example used in the statement was the new version of the Jaguar XJ sedan, which will hit the Chinese market in the current quarter. The next in line is the brand’s first crossover, F-Pace, which will be launched next year and is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s plan to expand its range to be able to compete with Audi’s Q5 and BMW’s X models.

Unlike the luxury unit’s sales in Europe and North America (which rose 34 percent and 23 percent for the new model Discovery Sport), the track record in China is on the negative, mainly because of a general market demand decrease, which has also been noticed by Jaguar Land Rover’s competitors. Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz, for example, had a 31 percent boost in Chinese sales until September, but company representatives expect a far less spectacular increase from now on. Similarly, BMW and Volkswagen’s Audi’s statistics have shown a mere 2 percent gain in China.

Nevertheless, Jaguar Land Chief Executive Officer Ralf Speth words in Mumbai on Friday sounded positive: “The China market is growing again and given that we’re selling fewer vehicles in China than in the U.K., I think we have plenty of room to grow. The Discovery Sport began local production today. So I’m optimistic that China’s economy will begin growing again and car manufacturers will see growth.” Robin Zhu, Max Warburton and Yang Liu, analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein, completed the picture by stating that “we are convinced that JLR is beginning to move past its problems of the past year in China.”

Via Bloomberg