While Jaguar Land Rover has added new production facilities outside of the UK in an expanding global reach, the company maintains that it is, and always will be, British - at least as far as design is concerned.
'Satellite production' simply being a consequence of conducting a global business.
At the opening of the Paris Motor Show, Jaguar Land Rover’s sales director Andy Goss was confident about the continuing 'Britishness' of Jaguar Land Rover since being acquired by the Indian-owned and operated industrial giant, Tata, in 2008.
When we asked how important maintaining the ‘Britishness’ of Jaguar and Land Rover was, Mr Goss gave a curiously American-skewed reply. “The Britishness, in terms of design in particular, I think is important," he said, "because we’re lucky that, in American terms, we have two great quarterbacks in Ian [Callum] and Gerry [McGovern] and they’re quite phenomenal actually, and we’re renowned the world over.”
Mr Goss also reinforced the advantages in extending the company’s reach to locations outside of the UK.
“We want to have the best labour all over the place, we want to make sure that we’re not just exporting British cars.
"We’ve got to be credible in China for China, in Korea for Korea, etcetera. That’s where the expansion is coming from, but not at the expense of dialling down where the brand’s coming from,” he said.
Already Jaguar Land Rover has production facilities in China, India, and Brazil with a new plant set to open in Slovakia, however at this stage all vehicles offered for sale in Australia are built in the United Kingdom.
Previously both Jaguar and Land Rover were American owned as part of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group (PAG), which also included Volvo and Aston Martin. Ford first took control of Jaguar in 1989, while BMW took over Land Rover from 1994 until 2000. Ford then added the off-road brand to its portfilio before selling off the entire PAG group.
JLR's current situation as a fully owned subsidiary of the Tata Group (which manufactures low cost vehicles for the Indian market but is little known in Australia) has caused some controversy. Some commenters maintain - a little naively perhaps - that JLR has lost the right to call itself British, despite not being in British ownership for over two decades.
Andy Goss, of course, would argue the toss on that proposition.
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