As we reported a couple of months ago, Tata has been appointed as importers for Jaguar Land Rover in India (how did that happen?!) and have already launched web sites for both Jaguar and Land Rover for the Indian market, and have today opened the first Flagship Jaguar Land Rover Showroom at Ceejay House in Mumbai.
Hardly a shock that Tata are importers in India for Jaguar and Land Rover (they have to have some perks from losing over £300 million on JLR in the last 10 months), and no more shocking that the new Flagship Showroom was opened by Chairman of Tata, Ratan N. Tata.
And all this is a very logical move by Tata. India is their home market and a country where more and more middle class Indians are enjoying a lifestyle more in line with the West than ever before. So taking the Jaguar and Land Rover range to India makes sense (although the Press Release says they are taking the Discovery LR3 – why no LR4?).
But is this a prelude to building Jaguars and Land Rovers in India? Tata are already on record as saying that ‘cheaper low-cost country sourcing’ is already happening, so is it a logical step to start making Jaguars and Land Rovers in India? If we were Tata we wouldn’t think twice about it. We’d be busy sourcing and building facilities for manufacturing and distribution as we speak. The cost savings would be significant, but it would also get round India’s enormous import duties on luxury cars, and be a great platform for exporting Jaguars and Land Rovers to other rising markets like China.
Ratan Tata is no fool. In our opinion it’s not a question of if, but of when.