Land Rover production begins in India

However, it will not affect production of Land Rover’s most popular SUV in the UK. Instead, Merseyside-built SUVs will be delivered to the Indian plant to be put together and sold in the country.

Mr Carl-Peter Forster, Chief Executive Officer and MD of Tata Motors, said: “Today marks a significant step in our growth strategy for the Indian market. The opening of this plant demonstrates close co-operation between the parent company Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover and we are keen to develop this further.”

The plant will assemble both the Land Rover Freelander TD4 SE Automatic and the Freelander SD4 HSE Automatic – both of which are 4×4 versions of the rugged SUV.

The two-wheel drive version, which offers lower CO2 emissions and greater fuel efficiency, will not be sold in India despite its UK launch at the start of 2011.

Land Rover experts from the UK will oversee production for the Indian market.

Dr Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, said: "It is a great time to be expanding our operation in India due to the increasing demand for luxury products and the strength of the Indian economy.”

Tata Motors has previously confirmed production of Land Rover and Jaguar cars will remain in the UK despite the new assembly plants in India.

Earlier this year, the group decided to keep both Midlands Jaguar plants open due to extra demand for the new range of cars, including the stunning Jaguar XJ saloon, Jaguar XF and Jaguar XK coupe and convertible.