Tata Motors’ annual report has revealed that the Indian company is looking into a joint engine development programme with subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover.
The report, released to investment markets today, has chairman Ratan Tata revealing that “To optimize the synergistic strengths between JLR and Tata Motors in India, an examination is also under way on a joint engine development program which would have manufacturing facilities both in the UK and India.”
We believe the engines being considered are replacements for the petrol and diesel engines currently bought in from JLR’s previous owner Ford — Tata bought the British car makers from the US giant in 2008. The Land Rover Freelander 2 and Evoque, as well as Jaguar’s XF, all use Ford engines, from the former models’ four cylinder 2.0 petrols, through the 2.2 litre diesel used by all three, to the 3.0 V6 petrol engine in the XF.
With Jaguar expecting an international sales success with the Evoque, plus a volume selling Jaguar X-Type replacement under development to rival the BMW 3-Series, more and more of these smaller engines will be needed and Tata does not wish to line Ford’s pockets. In-house developed petrol and diesel engines in the 1.6 – 3.0 litre brackets could also find many uses in Tata’s own range of passengers cars, SUVs and light commercial vehicles.
Likely sites for the new engine factories are thought to be Wolverhampton in the West Midlands and Pune in India.
The annual report for the financial year ended March 2011 also reveals that Tata is considering options for building select Jaguar and Land Rover models in China. China overtook the US as the world’s largest car maker in 2009 and continues to grow in spite of the threat of recession in Asia, climbing at 6.2 per cent for June month on month according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.