Big test for UK luxury carmaker under Indian owners
Since Tata took a $2.3 billion gamble to buy JLR from Ford at the height of the financial crisis, it has discovered a formula for success, surprising sceptics by winning new customers in Asia.
The firm, with sleek saloons favoured by British Prime Ministers and luxury SUVs born of desert and jungle combat, now has factories working around the clock in England, bucking the trend of hard times for European auto-makers.
JLR said on Monday it had sold 357,773 vehicles in 2012, 30 percent up on a year earlier, and would create 800 jobs at its Solihull plant in central England to keep up with demand.
British-based managers credit their new Indian owners with providing the capital needed for JLR to expand - especially in China - while avoiding the sort of overseas micro-management that they say stifled the company under Ford.
Tata's funding allowed JLR to launch products from a fully-loaded development pipeline inherited from Ford.
But whether it can continue that success - and unlock its future potential - depends on learning how to update its portfolio on its own, including achieving ambitions to develop in-house engine and transmission technology by 2015.
JLR has yet to release a model designed under Tata's ownership. It still buys many of its engines from Ford.
That is set to
Be the first to comment.