JLR to invest around £7.5 bn in next five years

JLR to invest around 7.5 bn in next five years

London: Tatas-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) plans to invest about £7.5 billion (about Rs54,000 crore) at least in the next five years, mainly on product development as it looks to catch up with global luxury car makers and position itself as a top premium brand.

“JLR is in the catch-up stage and we are going to do whatever we can to position ourselves in the top premium brand," Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth told the news agency.

When asked what kind of investments the company has lined up in order to scale up its overall business, he said the company “plans to invest £1.5 billion every year globally".

On how long the investment will continue, Speth said there is no definite time-frame but it could be “for a minimum of five years".

Stating that there is a lot of room for improvement, especially in its product line up, he said the investments will mainly go into product development.

Already the firm has announced that Land Rover’s much-talked about sports utility vehicle ‘Range Rover Evoque’ will hit the roads in September, 2011, with a starting price of £27,955 (about Rs20 lakh) in the UK.

Commenting on the Indian operations, he said: “We are looking forward strongly. Last month itself, we sold 74 cars in one month, which is a very very good performance."

Speth also said JLR is looking to increase sales point in India to 20 by the end of the fiscal from the current four.

On the possibility of assembling more models in India, he said there will be many “very very interesting models in the near future" but did not divulge details.

JLR will be rolling out the Freelander 2 from Tata Motors’ Chikhli plant in Maharashtra this year.

Commenting on company’s plans in China, he said JLR is close to choosing a partner to set up a production facility there.

The firm has been reported to be planning to produce around 50,000 vehicles a year from a new plant in China.