Tata Motors CEO Carl-Peter Forster has announced plans to move quickly to fill gaps in the Jaguar and Land Rover lineups. "Over the next few years we plan to nearly double our vehicle selection," he said.
Tata Motors is the parent company of both marques. Forster, the former head of General Motors in Europe, joined Tata in February. He and Ralf Speth, the new Land Rover and Jaguar chief, recently took inventory of the brands. 'We didn't actually have to start at zero, but there were many gaps in the portfolio,' he said, 'We had to initially consider what the brands should look like and what models we should have. We are building additional variations on existing models, we are launching new model lines and we are investing in new engines.'
Forster said Tata plans a replacement for the aged Land Rover Defender in view of the fact that the current version cannot sold in the United States. Forster called drastic weight reduction a key goal in the development of successors to the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. Last week Land Rover unveiled a new small SUV, the two-door Range Rover Evoque which will go on sale in the United States in the autumn of 2011. At 165 inches long, the Evoque will be the smallest, most fuel-efficient vehicle in the brand's lineup. It will be available as a hybrid and without all-wheel drive, if desired. In the US the Evoque is expected to start at about US$50,000.