British luxury automaker Jaguar Land Rover is considering a plan to manufacture cars in India, according to insiders. JLR is hoping to increase its growth further in emerging markets with the assistance of its India-based parent Tata Motors. A source said that JLR, which has benefited from the rising demand in the Chinese market and other emerging markets to report record-high profits in the past year, is “actively” studying the proposal to produce cars in India.
Another source pointed to the Jaguar XF and Land Rover Freelander as the “obvious candidates.” It was also divulged that the British brands, which already build two models in India using parts and engines made and shipped from plants in the United Kingdom, will also start to assemble its Range Rover Evoque in India soon.
By producing cars in India (which has turned into an emerging market export hub for numerous global automakers), Jaguar Land Rover will be able to evade high import taxes on luxury cars. Just last week, the country's finance minister made his budget speech where he proposed increasing these taxes to 100% from 75%. JLR spokesman Del Sehmar told Reuters that JLR has grand plans to widen its manufacturing footprint and boost production in markets outside Britain.
He said specifically that the company is studying options to expand its lineup of locally built products. At the Geneva Motor Show, JLR will be displaying an Evoque with a new 9-speed automatic transmission and an electric-powered version of the Land Rover Defender. Critics were silenced when JLR, which Tata bought from Ford in 2008 for $2.3 billion, reaped profits over the last three years. In fact, JLR is now the primary growth driver for Tata, which is currently struggling.