JLR unveils Ratan Tata's passion project Range Rover Velar
Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover has unveiled new Range Rover model Velar, a passion project of Ratan Tata, as part of its ambitious expansion plans to ramp up production of its luxury brands despite the challenges posed by Brexit.
Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Chief Design Officer, credited the final product to the passion of Tata Group chairman emeritus Ratan Tata at a grand ceremony at London's Design Museum on Wednesday evening.
"I would like to thank Ratan Tata. Ever since he saw the first sketch of the Velar, he became a passionate advocate of it," McGovern said at the unveiling.
"Design has the power to enrich people's lives... this is a vehicle with emotionally charged DNA and unquestionable pedigree," he added.
Described as one of the "hottest products this year", the Velar is now open to orders from around the world, including India, and is priced at around 45,000 pounds.
The UK car industry had backed the remain campaign during the Brexit referendum last year because the European Union remains by far the country's biggest market, something that could be directly affected by the final trade deal struck as Britain exits the economic bloc.
"Brexit is a significant challenge and we want our respective governments to support our industry. The last year was undoubtedly a very, very successful year for the industry but there is a lot of uncertainty with one of our biggest market, the EU," Mike Hawes, the chief of the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), had said recently.
In a boost to British manufacturing, JLR announced that the Velar will be built exclusively at JLR's flagship Solihull plant in the West Midlands region of England.
"The expansion of our product range and building this British designed and engineered car in the UK is a sign of our confidence in British manufacturing. We are leading the global premium car industry with our commitment to our home market and our heart, soul and headquarters will always be in the UK," said JLR CEO Ralf Speth.