When Tata bought Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) from Ford in 2008, the general consensus was that Ford was off-loading a massive problem, and that Tata should have their collective heads examined. JLR had been nothing but a cash drain on Ford. Sucking up resources which other divisions (cough-Lincoln-cough) sorely needed. The Jaguar brand was damaged due to the X-Type “fiasco” (note the inverted commas, because I still love my X-Type!) and Land Rover wasn’t really held in much higher regard. Even I, a big Jag-fan, had to concede that I was seeing the final days of JLR. How wrong was I?
The Economic Times of India reports that Tata Motors’ profits have soared to 22.2b rupees (that’s just under $500m to you) for the quarter leading up to the end of September. This represents close to a 100-fold increase from last year. How can this be? Well it was down to those “damaged” brands I was talking about earlier. JLR. Demand for JLR vehicles rose by 43 percent on the back of big demand from the United States and China. Especially for the XJ. JLR wasn’t the only riser.
Tata branded vehicles did extremely well. They rose 21 percent in October of this year. Because of these rising sales, Tata is hiring more staff, reversed a decision to close the manufacturing plants for JLR in the UK and is expanding in India. While this is good news for JLR, one thing keeps nagging me at the back of my head. Is JLR’s success down to the products which Ford helped them develop and Tata is reaping? Or is it down to Tata’s management? While I want to believe the latter, I strongly suspect the former.