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New Jaguar XJ Saloon to be built in India

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced that it is to build the new Jaguar XJ saloon in India. The XJ is now to be the third model that JLR builds in India, following on from the Jaguar XF and Land Rover Freelander. Despite this trend, JLR chief executive, Ralf Speth, has insisted that the company remains totally committed to building cars in the UK. Mr Speth went on to hail Jaguar’s Britishness as one of the keys to its success.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced that it is to build the new Jaguar XJ saloon in India. The XJ is now to be the third model that JLR builds in India, following on from the Jaguar XF and Land Rover Freelander. Despite this trend, JLR chief executive, Ralf Speth, has insisted that the company remains totally committed to building cars in the UK. Mr Speth went on to hail Jaguar’s Britishness as one of the keys to its success. Indian company, Tata, bought JLR from the Ford Motor Company in 2008 and the company regards India as a key market.

Mr Speth was keen to offer assurance about the company’s commitment to the UK, saying: "We do have a parent company that is Indian and without this parent company, JLR wouldn't exist. But JLR is both English and British. It's the compelling combination of British design and engineering that differentiates us around the world. Look at the huge investment that we make in Britain, and at the way we hire people, and you can see we are committed to Britain."

 

JLR’s commitment to the UK does seem to be more substantial that mere rhetoric. Last year the company invested £1.5 billion in its British plants, creating around 2,500 jobs in the process. The investment followed a record year, with JLR selling 425,000 cars across 39 different countries. Mr Speth emphasised again the importance of the company’s British heritage in achieving these results. He said: "It's very important to us [Britishness]. We are the only company in the automotive world with three Royal warrants and that makes us special. All around the world, people want to be seen in a British vehicle."

As part of its expansion programme, Jaguar has launched the CX17 SUV concept car. The CX17 is a smaller ‘crossover’ 4x4 and is being used to assess the market’s reaction to a Jaguar SUV. JLR are keen not to impact their own core SUV offering from Land Rover, which already has smaller SUV models in the Freeelander and Evoque. The company, however, is bullish about other luxury marques moving into their upmarket SUV territory. Rolls-Royce and Bentley have both been reported to be launching cars in the SUV niche but Mr Speth said: "We welcome competition. The SUV sector will grow so there's room for everyone." He was less enthusiastic about the prospect of any JLR electric car, however, indicating that such vehicles would only play a peripheral role in modern motoring for the foreseeable future.

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