Tatas-owned Jaguar Land Rover [ Images ] mulls building all its future cars with light weight aluminium bodies for reducing input costs as the two British marquees are trying hard to come out of the more than Rs 1,700 crore (Rs 17 billion) loss in 2008-09.
The two iconic brands are also developing hybrid engines for use in future models of JLR.
"JLR is planning to have all its future cars constructed with light weight aluminum bodies resulting in considerable savings in weight, and reduction in CO2 emissions," Tata Motors [ Get Quote ] chairman Ratan Tata [ Images ] said in its Annual Report for 2008-09.
Two British marquee had made a loss of over Rs 1,777.35 crore or Rs 17.77 billion (before interest, exceptional items and tax) in 2008-09 due to global meltdown, while the income from JLR sales stood at Rs 39,270.70 crore (Rs 392.7 billion). It had laid off over 2,200 staff.
Tata said the sales of Jaguar and Land Rover declined by 20 per cent and 51 per cent respectively during the October- March period of the last financial year.
"The main challenge in JLR will be to sustain operations through this difficult period arising from the global financial meltdown. There is good reason to believe that the company's new products and more aggressive marketing will see the company through this period," he added. Tata further said JLR would undertake a 'change' from some of the traditional practices with a 'commitment' to encourage change and to cut costs reduction and reduce development and production time.
On new technology, Tata said, 'important new technology development programmes at JLR include the development of a hybrid powertrain which will be introduced in future models of Jaguar and Land Rover.'
JLR has recently launched the new premier sedan XJ from Jaguar stable, deliveries of which would start from next year.
Tata also said new models of Land Rover would be introduced in coming years.
"Several new models are under development and will be released in the market in the coming years. These will widen the project range and re-energise the range," he added.
Tata Motors had last year acquired JLR from US carmaker Ford [ Images ] Motor for $2.3 billion.
'JLR a worthwhile acquisition': Setting at rest speculation that Jaguar Land Rover acquisition was a bad deal, Tata has said it was 'very worthwhile strategic' move bringing in considerable technology and global presence, said a report from Mumbai [ Images ].
"I strongly feel that in later years we can look back on the JLR acquisition and say to ourselves that this was a very worthwhile strategic acquisition and one which has brought us considerable technology and global presence," he was quoted as saying in Tata Motors' annual report.
Tatas bought UK-based Jaguar and land Rover last year for $2.3 billion. But soon, global recession badly hit car sales.
"Sales of Jaguar and Land Rover brands declined by 20 per cent and 51 per cent respectively from October 2008-March 2009 as compared to the corresponding period in the previous year as the demand for premium vehicles declined," the report observed.
The main challenge in JLR would be to sustain operations through this difficult period arising from the global financial meltdown, it said.
There was good reason to believe that the company's new products and more aggressive marketing would see the company through, the report said.
Image: A Jaguar car