Jaguar Land Rover invested 370 mn pound in upgrading UK facilities
LONDON: Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover today said it has invested 370 million pound in upgrading its UK manufacturing facilities and in setting up of Land Rover assembly at Pune in India.
Inaugural sales of the fourth-generation Range Rover are to begin this month following a three-year engineering project, supporting 1,000 jobs in design, product development and manufacturing at Jaguar Land Rover, JLR Chief Executive Officer Ralf Speth said.
Speth, who celebrated the new Range Rover launch at a preview event in Richmond Park in London today, said, "Through a 370 million pound investment ... we have been able to build the world's first SUV with lightweight all-alumuinium construction, a car that is 20 per cent lighter, with fuel consumption and CO2 emissions reduced by 22 per cent."
As part of the investment package, Jaguar Land Rover has installed a new aluminium body shop for the latest Range Rover at the company's Solihull plant, near Birmingham.
The Range Rover formed part of a new model offencive by Jaguar Land Rover, which will launch shortly the much-anticipated Jaguar XF Sportbrake and the new Jaguar F-Type sports car, JLR said in a release.
"Jaguar Land Rover is firing on all cylinders, generating export revenues of close to 8 billion pound a year as we meet demand for a model-range that justifies continued expansion in our UK facilities and elsewhere," Speth said.
Speth said that the Land Rover assembly plant in Pune has just commenced production and five to seven cars were assembled every day.
"We are very optimistic about India and we are getting excellent support from Tata Motors," he said.
In August, demand for vehicles helped lift pre-tax profits by 32 per cent to 333 million pound for the first quarter of the current fiscal year, with more than 85,000 cars sold in the three months to June 30.
According to Speth, Range Rover has been a major contributor to that growth, with annual sales of all models increasing 20 per cent in 2011-12, driven particularly by rising demand in markets such as China and Russia.
"We are investing more than 2 billion pounds every year on R&D in order to have state of the art car," he said.
Speth said the US is the biggest market for Range Rovers while the UK, Europe and China accounted for 20 per cent of its sales each.
Describing Brazil as an important market, Speth said "We intend to set up an assembly line, a copy of the Pune plane, in Brazil."
He described Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata as "exceptional leader, a connoisseur of technology."
Source : Economic Times