British luxury automaker Jaguar Land Rover is now under Indian patronage and has gone from building all of its vehicles at home in the United Kingdom to having a factory in China and planning new assembly facilities in Brazil and Slovakia.
The carmaker is traversing a period of unprecedented changes, with for the first time delivering assembly work to an outside contractor – the experts at Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria – and having for the first time a crossover model in the Jaguar roster – trespassing on the traditional territory of Land Rover. The company’s chief executive officer, Ralf Speth, 60, believes these massive steps will usher a new expansion era for the second tier luxury producer, which aims to one day challenge successfully the leading German triumvirate – BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. He adds that while it drives to increase deliveries from above 450,000 units in 2014 to around one million and also expands its manufacturing footprint, the engineering and the design capabilities – “the heart and the soul” – would remain in the UK.
And while Jaguar losses have been pared by Land Rover’s gains in recent years, it appears the executives have no clear demarcation line for when the former would become profitable again on its own. “We don’t separate the Jaguar and Land Rover brands. We are one company. As in each company, you have a line that is more profitable than the other,” comments the CEO. He adds the new F-Pace crossover from Jaguar won’t eat into Land Rover’s sales, as the company sets the latter towards providing full sport utility capabilities.
Via Automotive News Europe