Jaguar Land Rover may have prospered since Tata Motors acquired it from Ford four years ago for $2.3 billion but it now has to prove that it can produce new models without the help of its previous owner. JLR has been gaining new buyers in Asia. In fact, its plants in England are now as busy as ever to cope with the demand in Europe and would have to operate round the clock.
JLR has revealed that in 2012, it sold 30% more vehicles to 357,773 vehicles. To meet this demand, JLR added 800 jobs at its Solihull plant in central England. According to the British-based managers, Tata Motors deserves credit for offering the capital required for JLR to expand, particularly in China. They also appreciate that Indian managers stayed away from the type of overseas micro-management that had limited the company when it was still under Ford.
With the help of Tata’s funding, JLR was able to launch products from its full development pipeline gotten from Ford. Now, JLR faces the challenge of updating its lineup without Ford. JLR is currently working towards developing in-house engine and transmission technology by 2015. JLR still has yet to release a model that was developed and engineered while it was already owned by Tata Motors.
A lot of its engines are actually still bought from Ford. But Tata Motors wants this to change very soon. JLR is seeking to make an annual investment of 1.5 billion pounds (1.8 billion euros) until 2017 that will go to making new products and to growing its engine range, according to CEO Ralf Speth.