Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jaguar Land Rover targets faster growth, lead in luxury cars in India

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) aims to grow its sales at double the pace of rivals BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi in India. The Tata-owned British car maker aims to capture 20 per cent of the luxury car market over the next few years aiming for leadership in the segments that it is present in with models such as light, more fuel-efficient Range Rover Evoque and the locally assembled Freelander 2 SUV.

“Our growth rates are twice the competition and the segments that we are in are showing good potential. We aim to be market leaders in the segment we are in with an overall market share of 20 per cent,” said Rohit Suri, head (premier car division), Tata Motors.

The luxury car market, defined as cars priced above Rs 25 lakh, has grown at almost 70-80 per cent so far this year buoyed by new models such as the BMW X1 sports activity vehicle (SAV) and a new improved Mercedes-Benz C-Class entry-level saloon. Considering around 100 per cent growth, JLR sales in India are expected to cross 1,800 units in 2011-12. JLR sales expanded 268 per cent in 2010-11 at 891 cars, compared with 242 cars it sold in its first year of operations in 2009-10. BMW is the leading luxury car maker in the country with a market share of over 30 per cent, closely followed by Mercedes-Benz and Audi. The luxury car market stood at over 16,000 units in 2010 compared with about 9,000 units in 2009. BMW India sold 7,079 cars in 2010, while Mercedes-Benz notched up 6,670 and third-ranked Audi sold 3,982 cars. Swedish automaker Volvo stood far behind with sales of a few hundred units last year.

JLR plans to assemble more models in India, apart from the Land Rover model Freelander 2 that the company said has received good response. “We are evaluating assembling more models in India including Jaguar cars,” Suri said. The Freelander 2 is being assembled in Pune, Maharashtra since May this year with a lower price tag of Rs 33.89 lakh, just above entry-level luxury sedans of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

Evoque, launched last week at Rs 43.83 lakh, is the smallest Range Rover model, and has received orders that have surpassed the company’s initial response expectations. “It’s a challenge to supply the model as per demand. The Evoque is on a three month waiting list for both the diesel and petrol variants,” said Gurmeet Singh Anand, MD of AMP Motors that operates three JLR dealerships in India. JLR will open a new dealership in Gurgaon, an emerging corporate hub near Delhi in 2012. Anand said that the buyers for Evoque included a mix of youth, CEOs and ladies. Though JLR refused to share any sales numbers for the ongoing year, it claims to have been selling more Range Rover SUVs than Jaguar sedans.

Source: My Digital FC

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