Since Ford Motor Co. sold Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Motors in June 2008 for about $2.3 billion, Jaguar Land Rover has undergone a deep restructuring. Production was cut by more than 100,000 units, staff was reduced by 2,500 people, costs were slashed and a new growth strategy was established. Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth, a German, discussed the company's next steps with Automotive News Europe Editor-in-Chief Harald Hamprecht.
Q: What are your greatest challenges?
A: On a macroeconomic level, we see different markets doing different things: growth, no growth, shifts in segments. But we are still cautiously optimistic; we have a solid order bank.
Last year in Europe, Jaguar sales declined 15 percent to 23,100 while Land Rover's volume grew 12 percent to 74,700. How do plan to defy the current downturn?
Continued economic uncertainty in Europe has resulted in a softening in demand. We see a lot of tactical initiatives in Europe, which tends to be a first signal for increasing competition. We expect the market will remain tough, particularly in southern Europe. A lack of smaller engines has affected us, though we have now addressed this with the introduction of the 2.2-liter diesel engine. JLR also is expanding its global footprint and is responding to this expansion with a range of ambitious product actions including new models, new derivatives and new engines.
Are you still targeting 300,000 global sales for both brands by 2015, up from 232,000 in 2010?
Yes. We are embarking on an ambitious growth plan.
Do you need to open a plant in the United States or Brazil?
JLR has ambitious plans for growth and we are studying opportunities to support this plan. We have no news to share now.