Ratan Tata hopes the launch will help secure the struggling firm's future
29 June 2009

Jaguar Land Rover was officially launched in India yesterday, with the opening of its first showroom in Mumbai.

Tata bought JLR from Ford last year for $2.3billion (£1.4billion) but since then, it has suffered its first annual loss in eight years and had to make job cuts JLR factories.

Tata chairman Ratan Tata hopes JLR’s launch in India can help the company survive through the financial crisis with wealthy Indians wanting to buy into the prestigious Western brand.

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He said: “We are extremely pleased and proud to introduce the Jaguar Land Rover brands in the Indian market and give the discerning Indian customer direct access to these prestigious brands, accompanied by a parts and service network.

“We hope that they will delight customers in India just as they have done in markets the world over.”

Initially, the Jaguar XK and Jaguar XF ranges will be available in India, while the Land Rover Discover, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport will also be on offer.

The luxury car segment only makes up one per cent of the total Indian market but Jaguar CEO David Smith is predicting large scale growth over the coming years.

He said: “The luxury car market in India is very small, but there is a huge opportunity there. It is growing fast and we expect it to grow fast over the next 5 to 10 years.”

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Ratan Tata also said he was hopeful of securing European Investment Bank and UK-based commercial banks to develop fuel efficient cars whicha re crucial to the firm’s future.

He said: “Sustaining the downturn is important for us and finding a solution (for the loan guarantees) is extremely important to us.”

Mark Tisshaw

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