Millennium Post

JLR warns of output loss as DHL strike looms large

Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), which on Monday launched its sports car Jaguar F Type, priced up to Rs 1.61 crore, said its British operations could be hampered if the strike call by the workers of outsourced logistic division goes ahead.

'We are preparing for potential disruption (of production). We have a plan in place should that situation arise, though we are not directly involved with the strike and are closely monitoring the situation,' a JLR spokesperson told reporters on Monday.

There has been no production loss as yet, he added.According to 'The Sunday Times' report, delivery workers from DHL at JLR's England plants have voted for strike, demanding a large pay rise and terms and conditions on par with the JLR staff.The staff of logistics giant DHL, which has about 1,800 workers at the three JLR factories -- 1,000 between Castle Bromwich and Solihull in the Midlands and 800 at Halewood, Merseyside -- perform a key role in managing warehouse operations and bringing parts to production lines. Those at Halewood are due to vote.

On the newly launched F-Type, the company expressed confidence that it will trigger further growth for its products in the domestic market.
'Jaguar India has grown exponentially in the April-June quarter of this fiscal. The F-Type will trigger further growth for the Jaguar cars here,' Jaguar Land Rover India vice-president Rohit Suri told reporters.

Without divulging the absolute numbers, Suri said, 'Its sales grew 68 per cent in Q1, and this growth has been fuelled by another product from the stable, the Jaguar XF sedan, which was launched early this year.'

Noting that over all, auto industry in the country is not doing well currently, the JLR official said passenger car market has not seen the same growth pace it witnessed in the last couple of years.

Claiming that Jaguar has been growing at a healthy pace, he expressed confidence that the brand will continue to put up healthy growth despite the difficulties that lay ahead.

The F-Type is available in two variants --the V8S powered by a 5-litre petrol engine, priced at Rs 1.61 crore (ex-showroom Mumbai), and the F-Type S with a V6 3-litre petrol engine, available at Rs 1.37 crore (ex-showroom Mumbai).

'The launch of F-Type is significant for the Jaguar as we are looking at a lot of premeditated spin off benefits, because of the exclusive nature of the product. It will enhance the appeal of the Jaguar brand in India,' Suri said.

Stating that the sports car market here is very small, he said JLR is not looking for volumes. 'The primary objective of launching the F Type is not for volumes but to showcase technology and take it as a halo product with other products benefiting from it.'When asked if JLR is looking to assemble more models here over and above the Land Rover Freelander 2 and the Jaguar XF sedan, he said, 'Yes, we are continuously evaluating opportunities based on how good the volumes are.'

He, however, ruled out plans for full-scale manufacturing of JLR products in India.'Currently, we have a huge demand for the XF sedan with a waiting period of about two-three months. We are gradually ramping up capacity to meet demand,' Suri added.

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