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F-Type Jaguar set for April debut

New Delhi, Oct. 2: Jaguar is planning to bring the new F-Type here in April next year. The car was showcased at the Paris Motor Show last week.

“The global launch of the F-Type will be in April and we will bring it to India right after,” said a Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) spokesperson.

The UK-based company, owned by the Tatas, will also roll out the new Range Rover early next year.

“We will offer the newest products from JLR in India right after their global launches. We will begin the homologation process of the F-Type for India before the global launch so that there is no time lag in introducing the product here,” said the spokesperson.

The company is bullish about the Indian market and is on a product and distribution offensive.

“Apart from the F-Type and the new Range Rover, there will be more exciting products in the coming year,” he said.

JLR will add five retail outlets to the existing 15 by the end of this fiscal.

“We are now going to penetrate into tier II cities. We opened dealerships in Pune and Indore. The second one in Chandigarh is coming up soon.”

Jaguar sold 2,300 cars in 2011-12, up 157 per cent from 891 units in the previous year.

“We are not in the numbers game. We are a very premium brand and if we get our product-mix right, we will be a profitable company,” the spokesperson added.

JLR registered a profit at 1.5 billion in 2011-12.

Asked if the company will increase the production of SKD (semi-knocked down) units from its Pune plant, he said: “We started assembling the Freelander 2 from May 2011. Given the government’s import tax structure, it is prudent to expand SKD operations and we are looking to do that.”

“However, the business occasion should be right. At present, there is a Freelander line at the Pune plant. To have more such lines for other products, we need to expand operations at our plant in the UK which will have to manufacture the kits.”

The Tata-owned JLR is also investing 355 million to set up a new engine plant at Wolverhampton in West Midlands.

“The four cylinder engines will be manufactured there,” the spokesperson said. The company still sources the bigger V6 and V8 engines from its erstwhile owner Ford.

JLR has already invested 2 billion in product development for markets such as India and China.

“The new Range Rover, in fact, will have more passenger-focused comfort such as increased leg room and better entertainment systems. Our outgoing Range Rover was a more driver-centric car catering to the European and American markets,” he said adding that the new Range Rover will be the first car to have an aluminum monocoque body.

 
 
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