Ever since Tata Motors purchased Jaguar-Land Rover from Ford (for about $2.3 billion), the Brit's tides turned in its favor. They've had, and continue to have a winning streak. With every single launch since then, it's as though what JLR has touched, has turned to gold.
Take the latest offering from Land Rover - The Range Rover. True, that it is regarded as the world's best off-roader. But the level of technology and sophistication that went into it, is even more. The car is ligher than its predecessor by more than 400 kg!
And let's not forget the Range Rover Evoque which has become a bit of a status icon in most parts of the globe.
Jaguar have also had an exciting ride. With demand for the XF and XJ sedans increasing on one side, to the opening of a Nürburgring test center to develop the F-Type, the 'cat' seems to be very busy eating big fish.
That brings me to the big question. What next? You see, Ford had something to do with all the projects I mentioned above. Whether it was something as minuscule as ticking a checklist, or something as big as developing an all new model from scratch (the XF being the prime example), Ford had a hand in it.
In fact, Tata have played a bit of a reclusive role with JLR. They've provided the necessary finance, they've provided the necessary encouragement. That's about it. Tata haven't exactly jumped inside the factory to get their hands greasy and help develop a next gen mini SUV for JLR.
So we come to the question again. How exactly does JLR plan on developing their future products independently? Yes, the experience gained from developing the aluminium shell of the new Range Rover may go as far to help them develop the structure for a new car. But, then what? What about the powertrains?
Even Tata Motors wants JLR to grow independently. In fact, it is reported that JLR is working towards developing in-house engine and transmission technology by 2015 involving Tata's engineers. An annual investment of £ 1.5 billion until 2017 will go to making new products, says JLR CEO Ralph Speth.
At the moment a lot of its engines are still bought from Ford and JLR are yet to release a brand new model (developed and engineered) with Tata at the wheels. With sales rising 30% to 357,773 units in 2012, JLR need to find their feet fast.
[Source - 4wheelsnews.com]