Tata Motors will assemble Land Rover’s luxury sports utility vehicle (SUV) Freelander in India, hoping to cash in on the lower tax benefits. India’s largest automobile company plans to produce 2000 units of Freelander every year at its Chikhli plant near Pune once owned by Mercedes-Benz.
The company will assemble completely knocked down units imported from Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR) in the UK. “There is immense potential in the market and after selling JLR in India for more than a year, we have decided to assemble our cars here. The local assembly will start later this year, where we will produce all available variant of the Freelander,” said Tata Motors MD and CEO Carl Peter Foster. The recent Budget has made changes in the definition of completely-knocked down (CKD) kits, upsetting the plans of foreign car-makers.
Tata Motors has sold more than 200 units of its Land Rover brand in India and plans to focus on local assembling to gain market share. Freelander 2 will be the first model to hit the market.
“While we are the fastest growing luxury brand in China, the local assembly in the Indian market would help the parent company to leverage its potential in the home market,” said Land Rover’s global brand director John Edwards.