Speth was in a reflective mood ahead of the Frankfurt motor show and Jaguar F-Pace unveiling, drawing attention to the company’s relative size still next to competitors and how strong growth has been since Tata took over in 2008.
“They said it was mission impossible,” said Speth, “but I’m not Tom Cruise… We have turned around two struggling brands. We have reinvented both as two of the most respected, authentic brands in the global premium elite.”
Speth said sales had doubled, staffing levels had doubled, and turnover had trebled at JLR under Tata ownership. The firm also supported around 250,000 British families due to the strength in depth of the JLR supply chain.
The sales of two brands were under 200,000 at the end of the last decade but would now exceed half a million in 2015.
In referencing JLR’s future expansion with a plant in Eastern Europe, Speth said: “The heart and soul of the operation will remain in the UK where we will continue to grow and build the business.” He added that “three things – product, product and product” would underpin the future growth of JLR, and that the company was “built for the long haul”.
Speth also confirmed that JLR “has a plan for an electric powertain that will bring something new to the segment”, a reference to the Evoque E project JLR announced the initial findings of at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle show last week.
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