Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) India has been performing relatively well in the Indian automotive sector, and this was seen in the launch of the company’s first boutique showroom in the country, in Bengaluru. During the inauguration of this new showroom, we caught up with Rohit Suri, President and Managing Director, JLR India Ltd (JLR), to talk about the company’s strategy and performance.
In terms of footprint, JLR currently has 27 showrooms across India covering 24 states. This latest boutique showroom setup in Bengaluru is enabled by the latest in digital technologies, thereby helping in enhancing customer experience and engagement with the two brands of Jaguar and Land Rover. The showroom offers a digital personalisation studio, providing customisation options, as well as showcases and retails the latest accessories and branded goods. Suri mentioned that the company is looking at expanding the number of showrooms across the country, based on the volume of growth that it will experience.
Suri said that the luxury vehicle segment in India has not been performing very well , mainly due the high rate of taxation being levied. The high rates of GST, in addition to cess bring up the cost of luxury vehicles drastically, making buyers withdraw from their immediate purchase plans. While localised production and assembly of vehicle helps in reducing costs, GST still does not enable enough cut in prices as required. This taxation therefore stagnates the overall market growth, noted Suri.
The new BS VI emission norms will result in increased prices of all vehicles due to the higher amount of electronic systems present in the new vehicles. Within vehicles, diesel-powered models will see a higher spike in prices than that of petrol, which is why JLR India is offering both engine variants to customers, Suri observed. He added that there is definitely a pattern shift towards petrol engines in India, which is a diesel-driven market when it comes to luxury vehicles.
Meanwhile, Suri said that electrification is the way of the future, for which JLR is planning to bring in its first electric vehicle model to India in 2020. However, he added that the company is hoping for growth in EV infrastructure across the country, in order to enhance the adoption of electric mobility in India.