By Anirban Chowdhury
MUMBAI--Tata Motors Ltd.'s (500570.BY) luxury-car unit, Jaguar Land Rover PLC, has started assembling two variants of its Jaguar XF sedan in India, a step that will allow the company sell the model at cheaper prices to local customers.
Locally assembled vehicles attract lower taxes in India, compared with fully built imported vehicles. Reducing its vehicle prices by building them locally will allow the company take on rivals such as Daimlier AG, BMW AG and Audi AG, which assemble some of their models in India.
Jaguar Land Rover has started assembling the sedan with a 3.0-litre diesel engine at its facility in western India's Pune city, spokesman Del Sehmar said Monday.
The company previously imported the 3.0-liter variant from the U.K. as completely built units.
It also started manufacturing another version of the XF with a new 2.2-litre diesel engine at the Pune plant, the company said in a statement. The 2.2-litre-engine car will cost 4.5 million rupees ($83,800) at Mumbai showrooms.
Jaguar Land Rover has already reduced the price of the 3.0- liter XF to 5.1 million rupees from 5.8 million rupees earlier.
"Our best-selling models in India are the Land Rover Freelander 2 and the Jaguar XF, and this has driven the move to build these products locally," said Rohit Suri, vice president of Jaguar Land Rover India.
It already assembles the Freelander 2 sport-utility vehicle at Pune, where its opened the plant in May 2011.
Jaguar Land Rover sold 2,393 vehicles in India in 2012, an increase of 32% from the previous year.
It plans to invest about $2 billion globally on its products in the current financial year through March 2013.
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