We caught up with Del Sehmar, head of communication, Jaguar Land Rover India last night at the XF 2.2L diesel launch party in Chennai. Sehmar spoke on the launch of the new variant, recent launches, growth drivers for 2013 and even handed us a small exclusive!
Q: What is the strategy behind introducing a low powered XF in India?
A: Our strategy over the last few years has been to introduce as many products as possible into India both for Jaguar and Land Rover. For the Jaguar brand we were very mindful that we didn't have a locally built product. In our Pune facility we have the LR Freelander which we started producing back in May 2011. So we thought it is a good business case to produce the XF there. We build the Jaguar XF in two variants - the 2.2L and the 3.0L (diesel) - but what the 2.2L does is to bring the price down to around 45 lakhs (in Chennai), which will make the car more accessible and attract new customers. Ultimately what this does is make us more competitive and it gives you a Jaguar product that can compete with its German counterparts.
Q: Have the deliveries of the Jaguar XJ Ultimate edition begun in India?
A: We launched the XJ Ultimate edition at the Jaguar couture evening on the 8th of February in Mumbai. And interestingly we delivered the first car today in Chennai.
(Sources said it was taken by a popular textile and household articles store owner).
Q: When can we see the F-Type in India?
A: Well, we are launching that in spring in UK and Europe and right now the indicative date for the launch in India is around June or July. We are really excited about the launch of the F-Type convertible here in India.
Q: Have you started deliveries of the new Range Rover?
A: We launched the Range Rover in India at the end of November 2012. Interestingly on the same night we had double digit bookings. The car has been delivered to a number of customers and we are really pleased with the response.
Q: What about the launch of the updated Freelander 2 in India?
A: We can expect that here very very soon.
Q: How will you sustain this phenomenal growth (150+% this fiscal) in the year ahead?
A: Our strategy is to bring more and more products and if you look at where we are at the moment we very recently introduced the new Range Rover. Tonight we introduced the XF 2.2 L, the Freelander MY 2013 is coming, the F-Type is coming...and there is more. There is more coming to India this year!
What do you think are the models lined up by Jaguar Land Rover for the second half of 2013? Will the hidden range include the 2013 Range Rover Sport, a limited edition of the new Freelander and the XF Sportbrake? Use the comments box below to let us know which future or international Jaguar or Land Rover product you'd like to see and drive here in India.