Passage through India: Negotiating Mumbai in a Tata Harrier
What does everyone in the UK make of Jaguar Land Rover being owned by an Indian company?” This is a question that was asked a few times on my trip to India, and my reply was always the same: “It’s not something that anyone really thinks about or is bothered by, to be honest.”
British car companies have always enjoyed their best days under foreign ownership and, given that history, the fact that JLR is foreign-owned (as are Bentley, Rolls-Royce, McLaren, Lotus, Aston Martin and now even Morgan) hardly even registers. While an Indian conglomerate owning JLR was a headline back in 2008, it’s still considered as British as Tetley tea.
Tata has been a very good owner for JLR. Despite the troubles of the past couple of years, the overall story since the conglomerate took over is pretty much one of exponential success. In its first full financial year under Tata ownership, 2009-10, JLR sold 208,000 cars. By 2018-19, that had increased to 578,000 cars. Tata backed JLR, gave it the capital to succeed and left the management to get on with it. And, with Land Rover in particular, it has had a happy knack of making the right car at the right time – best seen with the Range Rover Evoque.