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Tatas weigh local assembly of JLR

New Delhi, Nov. 26: Tata Motors plans to locally assemble the Land Rover range of SUVs from the middle of next year.

The Tatas bought British car maker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) in June 2008 for $2.3 billion.

“While no specific plan has been firmed up, Jaguar Land Rover could be assembled in India from mid next year,” said Rohit Suri, head (premier car segment), Tata Motors.

The assembly facility is already under development, added Suri, without elaborating on capacity or the location.

Sources, however, told The Telegraph that the Chikhli facility in Maharashtra, which was used by Mercedes Benz, would now assemble the Land Rover SUVs.

The auto maker today launched the diesel version of its Jaguar XF car, priced at Rs 49.37 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), despite environment minister Jairam Ramesh recently seeking a ban on diesel-guzzling SUVs.

“There has been a demand for the diesel version of Jaguar XF...we have already had around 60 pre-bookings,” Suri said. Jaguar XF-petrol variant is already available across India at a price of Rs 68.29 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

The company will introduce the 3-litre diesel engine version with a non-particulate filter (used to remove soot from exhaust) so that the engine can run on the type of diesel available in India.

Diesel cars constitute around 30 per cent of passenger vehicle sales in the country. Critics say diesel is a subsidised fuel and should not be used by up-market passenger vehicles.

However, auto makers argue that consumers should have the freedom to decide on the fuel type.

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