Steane Klose | Aug 26, 2008

A weakening demand for SUVs and high-end vehicles in general, will see Tata cut production on recently acquired marques Land Rover and Jaguar. Three hundred workers from the main Land Rover factory in Solihull are to be re-deployed to the Castle Broomwich assembly line, where the Jaguar X-Type is produced.

Five shifts will be cut in total, two from the Solihull Land Rover plant and three from the Halewood Jaguar plant as Tata begins to take a close look at the bottom line for each product.

Sales of the Land Rover range have fallen only 3 percent overall (from sales of 226,000 last year), within a sector that has seen a massive 30 percent drop in demand. There has been a substantial 31 percent drop in US sales but strong demand in Russia and China have keep things on track for Land Rover. Land Rover accounted for all of Jaguar/Land Rover's USD$650 million profit last year and almost all of the USD$421 million accrued in the first quarter of this year.

Jaguar, on the other hand, has not enjoyed the same success but looks to be on the improve with a refreshed product line-up and new developments on the horizon;

"Jaguar has struggled, but is enjoying a new lease on life and moving into the black. Tata must also decide on whether to replace Ford, possibly with Italy's Fiat, as JLR's engine supplier."

With Tata keeping a keen eye on the performance of each brand, there may be testing times ahead for Jaguar/Land Rover. In the current automotive climate those who don't - or can't - change, will simply perish.

[Source: AutoBlog]

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