The high-end luxury car segment is seeing increasing competition as buyers have a good choice of vehicles to pamper themselves. Although these buyers aren’t very sensitive to pricing, the cost factor does play a role at times. The king of this segment is the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, a car which is so good that every other competitor feels a generation old in front of it. However deciding a car in this segment also has personal preference attached to it. Some like the driving dynamics of the BMW 7-Series, others fall in love with the design of the Jaguar XJ.
While BMW and Mercedes have been doing local assembly of the 7-Series and S-Class respectively, Jaguar and Audi were at a disadvantage as they brought in their cars via the CBU route. Audi continues on its stance that the A8 can’t be manufactured in India as it uses high amount of aluminium but Jaguar has now decided to bring its flagship XJ via the CKD route. Jaguar will assemble the XJ in India with two engines – 2.0-litre petrol and 3.0-litre diesel.
Jaguar updated the XJ recently in the form of the 2014 Model Year, giving it minor changes and additional features. A mild facelift is on the cards for next year while the next generation model will debut in 2016. This makes the XJ the third vehicle from the JLR stable to be locally assembled in India, with CKD operations commencing with the Land Rover Freelander 2 in 2011. Last year, the British brand started assembling the XF locally and now with the XJ being locally produced, one can expect aggressive pricing.
Jaguar Land Rover being owned by Tata Motors has a large part to play for the local operations as the company uses its Chikhli facility for the assembly operations. That time isn’t far away when all Jaguar Land Rover models will be locally assembled in India with the Evoque next in line to see CKD activities. Jaguar Land Rover is also considering manufacturing of cars in India and the next generation Defender is likely to be produced solely in the sub-continent.