Over the course of this year, rumors have been building about Jaguar Land Rover and its parent company, Tata Motors, co-developing vehicles, especially SUVs. Up until now, the Indian company has generally left its luxury arm's tech and expertise alone. The latest evidence, though, suggests the two sides won't keep their engineering separate too much longer.
Tata Motors' board has reportedly given the green light to developing two SUVs with engineering assistance from Land Rover, according to people familiar with the deal, speaking with Indian website Live Mint. The five- and seven-passenger models are meant to lure buyers outside of India to the brand, specifically in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. They should be ready for launch in 2017 with Tata hoping to sell around 80,000 units per year.
The new rumor fits incredibly closely with what we last heard about this proposed partnership. The new SUVs were reported to ride on a platform shared between Land Rover and Tata and it was even possible that the Indian vehicles could take advantage of JLR's Ingenium engine family. According to Live Mint, the Brit brand will also have input into tuning the SUVs' performance and handling.
Plans for these two SUVs have been simmering for at least a few months. Inklings about them came up in April when the Economic Times reported on the companies' study into building five- to seven-passenger SUVs based on the Land Rover Freelander platform. According to an unnamed JLR exec at the time, the models would use 50 percent or less of the parts from the current Freelander.