Tata to Push Land Rover as Premium Brand and Military Vehicle in India

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land-roverJun. 8 – Tata has announced aggressive marketing plans for the Land Rover brand in India, commencing initially with talks with India’s military over provision of the vehicle in defense contracts.

The company had purchased Land Rover from Ford last year. Tata also announced plans to launch the consumer brand as an upmarket vehicle, starting with a flagship store to be opened in Mumbai, showcasing the Freelander, Discovery and Range Rover models.

The move comes as Tata successfully renegotiated a US$3billion bridging loan to finance the acquisition from Ford, which while strategically sound, suffered from bad timing because it was just prior to the global economic downturn.

Concerning the military deal, Ravi Kant, Land Rover’s managing director said that the vehicle had been used by armed forces around the world and that talks with the Indian army were still at an early stage. Tata’s vehicle sales last year dropped by 13.5 percent, not including sales from either Land Rover or Jaguar. Company profits during the same period fell by 51 percent to over US$1 billion.