India's Tata Motors has posted bumper Q1 profits and revealed it plans to begin some Land Rover assembly operations in India.
Tata has released quarterly profit figures of 19.9bn rupees (£311.3m), which have come largely on the back of growing demand for its Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR) brands. JLR, which it bought from Ford in 2008 for $2.3 billion, reported a strong rebound from the recession thanks to booming exports to China reporting a profit before tax of £233.8m.
Helped by the weak pound and new versions of models such as the Land Rover Discovery 4, Land Rover sales in China in the April-to-June quarter were over double those in the same quarter a year ago. Sales in the UK of Land Rovers were up 60%.
Wholesale volumes for JLR in Q1 were 57,153 units compared to 35,947 units in Q1 last year. Its retail sales also improved favourably in the quarter, on the back of continued overwhelming response for Land Rover products and the newly launched Jaguar XJ.
Although 2000 staff were cut at JLR in 2008, the new Range Rover Evoque, revealed last month, is set to be built at the Halewood plant in Liverpool. Currently the Freelander assembled at the plant but Tata says the production of the Evoque will create 1,000 jobs in the Merseyside area.
According to Reuters, Tata chief executive officer says the company plans to start assembling some Land Rover vehicles in India from next year and is in talks for assembly line operations in China. Tata has confirmed the report but says no UK jobs will be affected by the move.