Jaguar Land Rover, owned by Tata Motors, plans to open its first assembly plant in India by the end of May, reports said.

The Freelander SUV will be assembled at the factory in Pune city, in the western state of Maharashtra, a spokesman for the British-based brand told Dow Jones Newswires.

"We are still in talks with executives from Tata Motors...on an exact date" for opening the plant, the unnamed spokesman said. "But, end of May would seem realistic enough."

An AFP query drew no response from Tata.

In the financial year ended March, Tata sold 891 Jaguar Land Rover vehicles in India, a jump of 268% year on year.

India is seeing a huge demand for cars, including premium brands, as disposable incomes rise among the country's rich.

Cars manufactured overseas and imported into India cost more than twice those assembled locally, as the government levies heavy taxes on them.

The Jaguar Land Rover plant in Pune will help Tata Motors lower costs to match rivals such as BMW, Audi and Daimler.

Tata Motors sells Jaguar XJ, XF and XK sedans in India, and the Land Rover Freelander, Discovery and Range Rover SUVs which are all currently imported as completely built units.

The Pune plant, where some of India's leading car and bike makers have existing plants, would be Jaguar Land Rover's fifth globally, after Kenya, Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan.