GENEVA -- Flush with profits and the blessings of parent Tata Motors, Jaguar Land Rover plans to step up marketing and expand its lineup.
"Part of our ambitious product plan is to expand, not only replace but expand, our product portfolio," Phil Popham, group sales operations director for Jaguar Land Rover, said last week in an interview at the auto show here.
Tata recently said that Jaguar Land Rover will have about $2.4 billion to invest in expanding the business, twice last year's total. Popham said that Tata is giving the two-brand unit the means -- and the autonomy -- to "develop, fund and deploy our own business plan."
He said that Jaguar Land Rover is investigating various product segments, including a smaller, volume vehicle. But he said that no decision has been made.
"We've got ambitious expansion plans and we're looking at a lot of interesting alternatives at the moment both in terms of product portfolio and investment in markets," Popham said.
News reports have said recently that Jaguar Land Rover and Chery Automobile are pursuing a joint venture in China. The company has also posted strong gains in other emerging markets and has seen progress in the United States, particularly with its new Land Rover Evoque SUV.
Popham said that the United States "remains an absolute priority for our business in the future." He said Jaguar, in particular, needs some image building there.
"We recognize that Jaguar, a well-known brand, a renowned brand, lacks critical mass in terms of volume, and we recognize that we need to invest in awareness of what Jaguar is now," he said. "As we develop our brand strategy and expand our product range, we will continue to invest significantly in [advertising] and to punch above our weight."