Tata Motors Group’s Jaguar Land Rover 2012 sales and future

According to Tata the global wholesales for Jaguar Land Rover in the month of December 2012 were 32,282 vehicles. While cumulative wholesales for Jaguar Land Rover for the fiscal were 255,722 vehicles.

Jaguar wholesales for the month of December were 5,444 and cumulative wholesales were 36,649 vehicles, while Land Rover wholesales for the month were 26,838 and cumulative wholesales were 219,073 vehicles.

Bloomberg reported that Jaguar Land Rover sold 357,773 vehicles in 2012, up 30 percent from 2011.

However, Rueters sees a big test looming for Jaguar Land Rover since it roared to health in the four years since it was bought by India’s Tata Motors. The hard part for the luxury British automaker is proving if it can build new models without former owner Ford.

Since Tata took a $2.3 billion gamble to buy JLR from Ford at the height of the financial crisis, it has discovered a formula for success, surprising skeptics by winning new customers in Asia.

The firm, with sleek sedans favored by British prime ministers and luxury SUVs born of desert and jungle combat, now has factories working around the clock in England creating 800 new jobs at its Solihull plant in central England to keep up with demand. This is bucking the trend of hard times for European automakers.

Its Solihull plant, which builds some 150,000 Land Rovers and Range Rovers a year, has moved to three-shift, 24-hour production. Its Halewood plant in the northwest of England is also on three shifts to produce the Evoque.

British-based managers credit their new Indian owners with providing the capital needed for JLR to expand — especially in China — while avoiding the sort of overseas micro-management that they say stifled the company under Ford.

“Ford’s policies and procedures manual would be about 3 inches thick and it’s now about four sides of A4 paper,” joked Phil Popham, JLR’s global operations director. “We were part of a huge automotive company in Ford but we were a very small part of that,” he said. “Tata’s approach is to work with us but to allow us to run our own business with a high level of autonomy.”

Tata’s funding allowed JLR to launch products from a fully loaded development pipeline inherited from Ford. But whether it can continue that success — and unlock its future potential — depends on learning how to update its portfolio on its own, including achieving ambitions to develop in-house engine and transmission technology by 2015.

JLR has yet to release a model designed under Tata’s ownership. It plans to unveil eight new vehicles in 2013, including a convertible sports car and a new hybrid Range Rover. A new plant near Wolverhampton in England’s midlands, built at a cost of 355 million pounds, will design, engineer and manufacture its new family of engines, creating 750 engineering and manufacturing jobs.

The new models are needed, industry analysts say. Despite the success of cars like the XF and the Range Rover Evoque small SUV, a Goldman Sachs report says JLR’s product line “is currently inadequate, and suffers from significant gaps.”

“In order to achieve more sustainable and broad-based growth in the long term, we believe JLR will need to invest in increasing its presence in segments it is currently not present in,” Goldman Sachs said.