Jaguar Land Rover, the British luxury carmaker owned by India’s Tata Motors Ltd., said demand in developed countries won’t reach pre-recession levels for two or three years, making China and Russia key markets.
Luxury sales in China are likely to double within five years, Chief Executive Officer David Smith said in an interview today, putting the country ahead of the U.S. and making it and Russia “very important markets” as Western sales struggle.
Demand for Jaguar sports cars and Land Rover’s upscale SUVs has plunged in the recession, forcing the Birmingham, England- based manufacturer to cut 2,200 jobs. Under the ownership of Mumbai-based Tata Motors, Smith said he has a “transformation agenda” aimed at establishing the company as a global brand.
“We can’t afford to just focus on the U.K.,” said Smith, who spoke at the National Low Carbon Vehicle Event in Millbrook, England. “It won’t be a dramatic rebound.”
Jaguar Land Rover said Aug. 12 that it had secured funding from commercial lenders and withdrawn a request for loan guarantees from the U.K. government.
Tata Motors has hired KPMG International and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants to help cut costs at Jaguar Land Rover, which it bought from Ford Motor Co. last year for $2.5 billion. Falling sales at the U.K. carmaker pushed India’s biggest truck manufacturer to its first consolidated annual loss in at least seven years in the year ended March.
While Jaguar Land Rover will “keep looking” at employment levels, it currently has no plans to cut more jobs, Smith said.