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Date set for JLR local rollout

Mumbai, June 8: The Jaguar and the Land Rover will drive into India on June 28. Tata group chairman Ratan Tata will launch the two iconic British automobile brands in Mumbai on that day.

Tata Motors expects to sell less than 1,000 Jaguar and Land Rover cars in India in the first year of the launch, said sources.

A Tata Motors spokesperson said, “The target figures are purely speculative and cannot be commented upon. Suffice it to say that the Jaguar and the Land Rover are planning for steady growth.”

Tata Motors, which bought the Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford last year for $2.3 billion, has decided to roll out different models of both these brands in Mumbai first. Thereafter, the models will be launched in six other cities.

“The roll-out plan focuses on one dealer each in six other major Indian cities that will sell cars from the JLR stable,” said a source familiar with the development.

The launch plan includes introducing models such as the Jaguar XF that combines the styling of a sports car with the space of a luxury saloon and the Jaguar XK that stands for speed.

From the Land Rover range, Tata Motors intends to introduce the entry-level luxury SUV called Discovery, the compact Freelander and the Sport, a top- of- the -line model.

Initially the cars will be imported as completely built units. This will attract high import duties of over 100 per cent.

“The idea is to introduce these models in the country and give them some time to gain popularity. Tata Motors is not in a hurry to achieve massive volumes,” said a source familiar with the launch.

In an effort to popularise the imports, Tata group company Indian Hotels, which runs the Taj chain of hotels, will use the high-end Jaguars to service its guests.

The newly formed premier car division within the Tata Motors passenger car business unit will take charge of the distribution of all the Jaguars and the Land Rovers in the country.

For months, Tata Motors had struggled to refinance the debt it had taken to buy these marquee brands. It also sought help from the UK government. Recently, the company managed to refinance $2 billion of a bridge loan towards the JLR acquisition.

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