India Watch : Tata Motors to tap luxury demand with ten JLR Dealers

Automotive News Europe/Bloomberg, 29th November, 2010

NEW DELHI (Bloomberg) – Tata Motors Limited will set up ten dealerships for its Jaguar and Land Rover luxury car brands in India this fiscal year to tap rising disposable incomes in Asia’s second-fastest-growing major economy.

The Mumbai-based company will establish dealerships in large Indian cities such as Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad, Rohit Suri, the India head of Tata Motor’s premier car division, told reporters in New Delhi Friday.

Tata Motors joins overseas rivals BMW AG, Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG’s Audi division in a bid to tap rising demand in India for premium brands. The nation’s market for luxury goods and services is projected to triple to $14.7 billion by 2015, according to a report last month by the Confederation of Indian Industry and A.T. Kearney.

Daimler sales in India increased 82 percent to 2,959 vehicles between April and September compared with a year earlier. BMW sold 2,674 vehicles in the period, 53 percent more, while Audi’s sales climbed 62 percent, according to data compiled by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

Jaguar Land Rover will begin assembling Land Rover models in India starting in the middle of next year, said Suri. The company had already begun setting up the plant, he said without elaborating on the stage of construction, cost or its location.

The combined net worth of India’s 100 wealthiest people climbed to a record $300 billion this year, equivalent to a quarter of India’s gross domestic product, according to Forbes.

India’s wealthy may almost double their assets to $6.4 trillion over the next five years as economic growth swells their ranks, Credit Suisse Group AG said in a report released Oct. 8.

Daimler expects Mercedes-Benz sales in India to rival the UK within a decade as rising wealth stokes demand, Wilfried Aulbur, the head of the company’s India unit, said in September.

Tata Motors posted more than a 100-fold gain in second-quarter profit as growing sales of Jaguar Land Rover cars boosted net income to 22.2 billion rupees in the three months ended Sept. 30. Jaguar Land Rover returned to a profit in the quarter, with sales up 43 percent on rising demand for $72,000 Jaguar XJ sedans in the United States and China.

[Source: Automotive News Europe/Bloomberg]

Clive Goldthorp

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