Shocker! Indian Company To Make Cars In India!

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
shocker indian company to make cars in india

Who would be stupid enough to buy a brand-new “CUV” and then drive it across a four-foot-deep stream? Surely, dear readers, you already know the answer to that. My Freelander was actually a capable little fellow off-road despite being fundamentally a jacked-up 1994 Civic with a creeper first gear.

More importantly, who would be stupid enough to believe that Tata would retain all Jaguar and Land Rover production in Great Britain, when a limitless supply of cheap labor is just a continent away?

As reported yesterday, Land Rover will be building the Freelander 2 at a new plant in Pune, India. Consider this a toe, er, wheel dipped in the waters; if quality doesn’t suffer too badly (and, really, how much worse could it get?) it’s a certainty that the majority of JLR products will eventually be assembled in the subcontinent. It’s possible that Tata would retain a single showcase factory in the United Kingdom to provide a pinch of authenticity to the very most expensive Jags and Rovers, but if the company expects to ever recover its not inconsiderable “investment” in these brands, it will be necessary to squeeze every last dime of profit from the lineup. Indian assembly is just the next logical step in that squeeze.

From your humble author’s perspective, however, the most interesting part of this whole thing will be how JLR spins it to the American media and consumer base. Will they proudly disclose the Freelander’s Indian heritage, or will they join Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and countless other “luxury” brands by whitewashing a thin layer of pseudo-European snobbery onto a product made in Asia by race-to-the-bottom methods of labor and component sourcing? Hint: don’t bet on the former.

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  • Tstag Tstag on Jun 02, 2011

    What a rubbish article! What TTAC doesn't tell you is that they are building a large engine plant in the UK to feed the 3 UK assembly plants. They also have'nt mentioned the 8 billion pounds TATA is spending on a massive expansion of JLR products. Oh and wait shock horror there is more TTAC 'forgot' to say not only is it planning an assembly plant in India, but it's going to build one in China and possibly Brazil as well. But these plants are just making cars out of CKD kits to avoid massive import tax in those countries. JLR needs the capactity it has in Europe because it's planning to double the number of models it currently makes. So what it loses to India in production (at present less than 1000 units a year) it will make up in additional new cars. Come on TTAC do your research. And instead of downbeat stories what about the one where JLR just announced profits of over 1 billion pounds for the last 12 months? Oops another TTAC ommision.

    • Jack Baruth Jack Baruth on Jun 02, 2011

      Tstag, What makes you think that JLR's decision to build the Freeloader in India is "downbeat"? Land Rover is an Indian company now and they are free to build cars in India. The point of the story was very specific: During the purchase of JLR, more than one self-appointed expert claimed that they would never move to Asia for production. That is now clearly not the case. And as Ronnie points out, they are committed through 2020, although a cynic might respond that eight years is not an eternity in this business.

  • Tstag Tstag on Jun 02, 2011

    So Jack where does this fit in? Why would JLR build an engine plant in the UK and another in India if it was going to close assembly plants in the UK? This is actually the thing that kills your blog and should result in the sacking of all your journalistic mates who got the lift and shift plan wrong. Also why reverse a decision to close a UK car factory? Also why go on a massive recruitment drive in the UK? Also do you not think that when JLR double the number of models they make they might actually want the capacity? To be fair Jack the article you should write is 'BMW, Merc, Audi look out, TATA are planning 40 new products'. Oops did you miss that too? There is actually a big story here, which is that JLR are spending 8 billion pounds over the next 5 years to go BMW hunting...

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