The three Indian brands in the Frankfurt motor show—Jaguar, Land Rover and Ssangyong, are not making heads turn but are displaying an ambition of catching up with the world leaders.
Jaguar Land Rover brought cars that it expects would help to get even with its German rivals in an event that is the home ground for companies such as VW, Porsche, Skoda, Mercedes, BMW and Audi. Jaguar showcased a concept sportscar CX16 to compete with the legendary Porsche 911, while Land Rover brought in two variants of its own iconic all terrain vehicle Defender.
“Our sales this year is up 15% over the last year,” said John Edwards, global brand director, Land Rover.
“Notwithstanding the Eurozone crisis, 2011, will clearly be our best year ever. This month we start sales of the Evoque which will bring in new customers to our brand.”
Jaguar’s attempt at outdoing the Porsche is an even more audacious task. Porsche itself launched the new 911 carrera sportscar but Jaguar is not backing down.
“Over the last 6 years we have revitalised our core with cars such as XJ, XF and XK. Now is the time to bring in a two seater no holds barred sportscar,” said Adrian Hallmark, global brand director, Jaguar.
For the Mahindra owned Korean SUV maker Ssangyong, it was getting back to business. Four days after it returned to the England market leaving behind its troubled past post the acquisition, it showed off the concept XUV 1 crossover utility vehicle.
There was only a sparse motley crowd interested in the brand but it is still the Korean carmaker’s boldest step yet.
“Our target for Ssangyong was to sell 1,20,000 units and we are pretty much on track,” said Pawan Goenka, president, automotive sector, Mahindra and Mahindra.
(The writer's travel and stay was sponsored by Skoda Auto India)