Tata working on Freelander-based SUV
Let's face it, Tata's products tend to be rather rudimentary, yet the Indian company has owned Land Rover for six years now. Why not take advantage of that to spruce up its own brand?
Well, one could argue that Tata is too low-end and Land Rover is too high-end, yet there is a middle ground that looks likely to be exploited.
According to The Economic Times, Tata is close to giving the green light to a new Freelander-based SUV that could compete with everything from the Toyota Fortuner to the Hyundai Santa Fe.
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The five-to-seven seater could go on sale by 2016 and it would use the current Freelander's platform, which will be out of commission by then. While there's no harm in recycling old tooling and technology that has already been amortised, such a vehicle would need to be adapted to its new role and we'd imagine they'd stretch it too if they wanted to fit seven seats.
An insider told The Economic Times "The SUV is likely to be 50-85% different from the existing Freelander, but it will have the genes of a Land Rover with JLR quality."
This could certainly be a bold step in the right direction for the budget brand.