Indian carmaker Tata will reportedly introduce a pair of new five- and seven-seat SUVs in 2017 as it works toward a wider global brand presence.
The new models could also represent a huge leap forward in quality, with reports out of India this week pointing to significant technical contributions from British subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover.
According to website Live Mint, Tata group management has reportedly given the green light for the company’s Indian arm to draw on Land Rover expertise and components in the development of its new volume-selling SUVs.
“This is part of a long product pipeline till 2020, an approval for which has been received from the Tata board,” an unnamed executive was quoted by Live Mint.
These new development synergies are understood to have been a long-time coming, but issues of cost and positioning had kept the project from progressing further.
“Now they have managed to crack it,” the report’s executive source added.
Earlier reports suggest that part of that solution may have come in re-purposing the platform that underpins the existing Freelander and Evoque models, itself an evolution of Ford’s C1 and EUCD platforms of the early and mid 2000s.
Such an arrangement would boost the project’s economies of scale, with the existing technology and tooling transferred to Tata while Land Rover prepares for production of the all-new Discovery Sport - the Freelander’s replacement.
Don’t expect the coming Tata SUVs to be new styling on top of an ancient platform, however.
"The SUV is likely to be 50 to 85 percent different from the existing Freelander, but it will have the genes of a Land Rover with JLR quality," another anonymous source told India’s Economic Times in April.
Through the new arrangement, Tata reportedly hopes to sell around 80,000 of its new JLR-influenced SUVs each year.
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