It’s been good to see the news that Jaguar Land Rover has been launched in India. With all the doom and gloom surrounding the British manufacturer, it’s refreshing to see it is still able to expand and expose itself to some growth markets where the big bucks can possibly be made.
Although the Indian luxury car market is very small, making up just one per cent of sales, this still represents a very large number of people in a country with a population of more than one billion.
I appreciate that the prices of Jaguar and Land Rover cars will be well out of reach for the majority of the Indian population, but those who can afford a £30,000 plus car may well swing towards JLR because of the involvement of its owner Ratan Tata.
Tata seems to have captured one end of the market perfectly with the launch of the Tata Nano, which received more than 200,000 applications for its lottery ballot. The luxury end of the market is likely to prove a sterner test, but Tata seems a trusted and loved man by many Indians.
Jaguar and Land Rover are still prestigious names in any market. Jaguar has excelled itself recently with the excellent XF, as well as the XFR and XKR performance models. Markets such as India and China should no longer be considered under-developed in car terms and boundaries between eastern and western car tastes, standards and acceptability are becoming ever smaller.
And I doubt Jaguar Land Rover would be willing to take a risk in any new market right now if it didn’t think it could be a success. As Jaguar CEO David Smith 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.”
With Ratan Tata saying last week that JLR has lost £280 million and more job cuts could be on the horizon, the Indian boost could be just what JLR needs to drag it out of its current financial woes.