Tata Group-owned firm Land Rover has said that it will launch two advanced diesel versions of its SUV, Range Rover, in the UK by September this year. The 2011 Range Rover will come with, Euro V emission compliant, 4.4 litre and 5.0 litre V8 diesel engines.
Earlier last month, Land Rover said that its first diesel hybrid SUV will hit the roads by 2013, and testing of the prototype referred to as Range-e would start by this year-end. Tata Motors is charting a strategy for a 25% carbon dioxide reduction in its Jaguar and Land Rover models. The company has taken into account volatile fuel pricing, continuing legislation on emission and taxing while focusing on its green initiatives. In a recent presentation to analysts, Tata Motors said that 'in order to build JLR's competitiveness it is aiming for a strong technology strategy for a low carbon world by 2014.' This involves developing technologies targeting a 25% reduction in the joint fleet average tailpipe CO2 emissions. The company banks on two ongoing research projects, Limo Green and Range-e.
Jaguar has already displayed the Limo Green concept, a hybrid XJ equipped with a 145 kW, 295 full-load motor torque electric motor, and a 1.2-litre petrol engine. This gasoline-electric hybrid claims a fuel economy of 57 miles per gallon and less than 120 g/km CO2 emission at its top speed of 112 miles per hour.
Range-e uses a plug-in parallel diesel hybrid system to offer a premium SUV that can run as a pure electric vehicle minimising emissions.
Tata Motors had embarked on the emission reduction programme for JLR as part of its turnaround project. The company was given a £340million loan by the European Investment Bank (EIB) earlier this year. The loan will support JLR's research and development programmes that focus on technologies aimed at reducing CO2 emissions from its vehicles. The company considers that rising fuel prices and stricter emission requirements are paving the way for green technologies. According to the presentation, 'High and volatile fuel pricing, continuing CO2 legislation and taxation will drive fuel efficiency and energy security. Traditional SUVs are moving towards crossover, multipurpose and smaller SUVs, and there are similar movements towards small premium cars.' JLR is launching the compact LRX Range Rover next year. Land Rover, has said that it will introduce 4x2 and 4x4 versions of the new compact Range Rover worldwide, is likely to launch the model in the Indian market in the next few years. On sale in 2011 in UK and other European markets, the 2WD vehicle, based on the LRX concept, will emit less than 130 g/km of CO2 making it the lightest, most fuel efficient Range Rover ever. As part of the introduction of 4x2, Land Rover will be focusing on three main areas of technology to reduce the weight of Land Rover vehicles, reduce parasitic losses and increase powertrain efficiency. The use of hybrid technology is also part of the significant developments for the larger vehicles in the range.
As part of its focus on emerging markets, JLR is planning to open additional dealerships in India. The company also plans to establish a national sales company in China this year. Tata Motors has said it will continue its strategic low-cost sourcing of materials and components as part of the cost reduction efforts. JLR opened purchasing offices in China and India during 2009. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will more than double its dealerships in India to increase sales as part of the plan to focus more on emerging markets. JLR, which currently has three dealerships at two cities in India, will add four more outlets in 2010-11. JLR already has three showrooms in India, one in Mumbai and two in New Delhi, and will open showrooms in Hyderabad, Ludhiana, Chennai and Bangalore. JLR's entry to the fast-growing Indian car market was marked by the opening of a flagship showroom facility at Ceejay House in Mumbai by Mr. Ratan N. Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Motors. It believes that India is a high potential market and sells the entire range of JLR products in India including the XF, XKR and XJ from Jaguar and the Range Rover and Discovery from Land Rover's range. The Tata Motors-run firm sold 242 units in 2009-10, most from its flagship store in Mumbai since the opening in June 2009. The Delhi showrooms were opened in March this year.
After the downturn hit major global auto markets such as the US and Europe in 2008-09, vehicle manufacturers have been focusing more on emerging markets, including India and China. India was the second fastest growing auto market and had witnessed an increase of more than 26% in 2009-10. China's auto market was the fastest growing with total sales reportedly registering 46% rise from the previous year.