It’s been six years since Tata acquired Jaguar-Land Rover (JLR) and we have not seen any Roverism of a Land Rover on the Safari, or the classiness of a Jaguar in a Tata product. Of course, the Zest and the Bolt must be fine cars, but talking specifically about the trickling down of JLR technology to Tata vehicles or a joint-development of a vehicle from scratch has been a mirage for the last six years.
However, that might change soon now if some reports revolving around Tata’s entry into Australia’s car market (via Drive.com.au) are to be believed. Well, the company has indeed entered Down Under with the Xenon which will be soon followed by passenger cars and SUVs too.
According to Darren Bowler, the MD of Tata’s Australian distributor, Fusion Automotive, the models and technologies coming from Tata would be jointly developed by Tata-JLR. However, he emphasized that there would be no ‘badge engineering’ between the brands, and the Indian owner will continue to protect the exclusivity of its British marques.
Bowler talked about the Tata Nexon, a compact SUV concept showcased this year at the Auto Expo, in particular. He said that it is a new platform that has been developed keeping in mind the feasibility of sharing it among many products under Tata’s umbrella. He drew a parallel with VW’s Golf platform and how it has been used under the skin of smaller Audis like the A3 and Q3.
He also added that the Nexon platform could be used in the next Evoque, or in a Jaguar too. Now, we found that statement a little hard to digest as the Nexon is built on the same X1 platform on which the present Manza, Zest, and Bolt are also built. Having said that, the platform could well be utilised by Tata-JLR to spawn a compact SUV much smaller than the Evoque but that appears to be a far-fetched thing at this moment.
That is nothing new as that was the original idea behind the Tata ‘Jump’ concept, which was later christened as Nexon. It’s a sub four-metre SUV that is, according to this report, launching in 2017 but we believe it will be too late then.
With the promising Zest and Bolt, it looks that the activities at Tata-JLR have gained serious momentum. Watch this space.