LONGBRIDGE, UK: As the number of global billionaires grows almost by the hour, thanks to the burgeoning BRIC economies, the Jaguar and Land Rover marques plan to move upmarket, challenging the likes of Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls Royce.

The strategy has the blessing of the brands' new owner, Indian conglomerate Tata Group.

In an interview with the Financial Times, recently appointed ceo David Smith waxed lyrical about his belief that the two brands could be taken "a lot further up the market".

"Both Jaguar and Land Rover (through the Range Rover brand)  should be able to produce very credible products to appeal to people in those markets," he said.

And Ratan Tata, the Indian group's chairman, currently visiting the UK production plants, is "very enthusiastic" about the marques' long-term potential.

He also supports Smith's view that much of the potential market for cars costing upward of £100,000 ($199.79k; €125.84k) lies in the BRIC [Brazil, Russia, India, China] nations

Says Smith: "The number of high net worth individuals in these markets is increasing exponentially and they now have the ability and desire to buy such vehicles."

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff