Tata Motors, the auto arm of Indian conglomerate Tata, which recently acquired Jaguar and Land Rover, plans to revive luxury car marque Daimler, a media report said on Monday.
'Ratan Tata, head of the Indian conglomerate that bought the marque as part of its 2.3 billion dollar purchase of Ford's luxury brands, told investors that he was deciding whether to resurrect the Daimler brand,' The Times said in a report. Tata has earmarked 1 billion pounds to develop new models at the UK-based manufacturers, it added.
The auto maker 'wants to transform Daimler into a super- luxury marque to compete directly with Bentley and Rolls- Royce. It wants to develop cars for wealthy buyers in Britain, as well as targeting rich buyers in Asia, Russia and the Middle East,' the newspaper said.
According to the report, David Smith, chief executive of Land Rover and Jaguar, suggested recently that both Jaguar and Land Rover would be taken further upmarket to the 100,000 pounds plus price bracket.
A Tata spokesman said it was too early to say whether Daimler would be part of those plans.
Jaguar shares the rights to the Daimler name with Daimler AG, the German car manufacturer created last year when DaimlerChrysler was split up and its American operations were bought by Cerberus Capital Management, the private equity firm.
At present the Daimler badge is restricted to the most expensive Jaguar model - the Daimler super Eight, which has a list price of 80,000 pounds. The model was released in 2005.