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China celebrates JLR, minus the Tata tag

It’s probably not hip in China to talk about an Indian company doing well. That’s what it appears from stories in the local media talking about how good Jaguar Land Rover is doing well in China but conveniently forgetting to mention that it is owned by the India’s largest car maker, Tata Motors. Sutirtho Patranobis reports.

autos Updated: Apr 27, 2012 00:41 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

It’s probably not hip in China to talk about an Indian company doing well. That’s what it appears from local media stories talking about how good Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is doing but conveniently forgetting to mention that it is owned by India’s largest car maker, Tata Motors.

Figures about JLR emerging from the ongoing Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (BIAE) are impressive: the http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/4/27_04_12-buss25d.jpgcompany sold more than 42,000 units in 2011, an increase of 61% from the year before. This year more than 18,000 cars were sold in the first quarter in China, an indicator that sales in 2012 could trump last year’s figures.

“Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, came to this year’s BIAE on the heels of a stellar year for the British luxury car maker, which reported stunning growth in China,” read the article in China Daily, the government’s English mouthpiece.

It talked in detail about the expansion plans of the “British luxury car maker” — “the company has appointed 125 dealerships across China of which 89 have already been put into operation,” the article said.

Driven by China’s new rich, the luxury car market in China is doing well, and some analysts expect it to become the largest such market by 2015, surpassing the US.

According to the global financial services firm Morgan Stanley, China’s luxury vehicle sales surged 36.7% year-on-year to 130,416 units in the first quarter. The growth beats the overall market’s 3.4% decline and the passenger vehicle segment’s 1.3% drop.