Tata Motors Limited, formerly known as TELCO (TATA Engineering and Locomotive Company), is a multinational corporation headquartered in Mumbai, India. It is India's largest passenger automobile and commercial vehicle manufacturing company. Part of the Tata Group, and one of the world's largest manufacturers of commercial vehicles. The OICA ranked it as the world's 20th largest automaker, based on figures for 2006.
Tata Motors was established in 1945, when the company began manufacturing locomotives. The company manufactured its first commercial vehicle in 1954 in collaboration with Daimler-Benz AG, which ended in 1969. Tata Motors was listed on the NYSE in 2004, and by 2005 it was ranked among the top 10 corporations in India with an annual revenue exceeding INR 320 billion. In 2004, it bought Daewoo's truck manufacturing unit, now known as Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicle, in South Korea. It also, acquired a 21% stake in Hispano Carrocera SA, giving it controlling rights in the company. Tata Motors launched their much awaited Tata Nano, noted for its Rs 100,000 price-tag, in January 2008.
In March 2008, it finalised a deal with Ford Motor Company to acquire their British Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) business, which also includes the Rover, Daimler and Lanchester brand names. The purchase was completed on 2nd June 2008
Tata Motors started its commercial vehicle operations in 1960 with the manufacturing of first commercial vehicle (a copy of a Daimler Benz model) in Pune. It took five years for the company to begin the commercial production of heavy commercial vehicles. Considering the road infrastructure of the country which does not support heavy vehicles, the company adopted a route for light commercial vehicles (LCV). It came out with its first LCV, Tata 407, in 1986.
Post liberalization, in order to expand rapidly, the company adopted the route to joint ventures. In 1993, it signed with Cummins Engine Co., Inc., for the manufacture of high horsepower and emission friendly diesel engines. It was an effort made to reduce the pollution in the existing Tata engines and to produce more environmentally friendly engines. Furthering the trail of JVs it signed a joint venture agreement with Tata Holset Ltd., UK, for manufacturing turbochargers to be used on Cummins engines.
After years of dominating the commercial vehicle market in India, Tata Motors entered the passenger vehicle in 1998 by launching hatch-back car, the Tata Indica. Indica was the first car indigenously designed in India. Though the car was initially panned by auto-analysts, the car's excellent fuel economy, powerful engine and aggressive marketing strategy made it one of the best selling cars in the history of the Indian automobile industry. A newer version of the car, named Indica V2, was a major improvement over the previous version and quickly became a mass-favorite. A badge engineered version of the car was sold in the United Kingdom as the Rover CityRover. Tata Motors also successfully exported large quantities of the car to South Africa. The success of Indica in many ways marked the rise of Tata Motors.
With the success of Tata Indica, Tata Motors aimed to increase its presence world-wide. In 2004, it acquired the Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Company of South Korea. The reasons behind the acquisition were:
On its journey to make an international foot print, it continued its expansion through the introduction of new products into the market range of buses (Starbus & Globus).
In 2005, sensing the huge opportunity in the fully built bus segment, Tata Motors acquired 21% stake in Hispano Carrocera SA , Aragonese bus manufacturing company and introduced its high-end inter-city buses in the country.
Tata Motors has also formed a 51:49 joint venture with Marcopolo S.A., a Brazil-based global leader in bus body building. This joint venture is to manufacture and assemble fully-built buses and coaches targeted at developing mass rapid transportation systems. The joint venture will absorb technology and expertise in chassis and aggregates from Tata Motors, and Marcopolo will provide know-how in processes and systems for bodybuilding and bus body design.
Tata Ace has also been exported to several European, South American and African countries. Electric-versions of Tata Ace are sold through Chrysler's Global Electric Motorcars division.
In 2007, Tata Motors launched several concept models and future designs of existing models. It also formed joint ventures with various local companies in several countries to assemble Tata cars. Tata Motors launched a re-designed version of Tata Xenon TL during Motor Show Bologna which would be assembled in Thailand and Argentina. A pick-up variant of Tata Sumo was also launched under the program 'Global Pick-Up'. The company plans to launch the new pick-up model in India, Southeast Asia, Europe, South Africa, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Tata Motors also unveiled newer model of Tata Indigo and Tata Elegante concept-car during the Geneva Auto Show.
Tata Motors also formed a joint venture with Fiat and gained access to Fiat’s diesel engine technology. Tata Motors is looking to extend its relationship with Fiat and Iveco to other segments like the 'Global Pick-Up' program. The launch of the 'Global Pick-Up' will mark the entry of the company into developed markets like Europe and the United States. The project was initially a collaboration between Tata Motors and its subsidiary Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicles, but later Tata Motors decided to work with Iveco as Daewoo’s design was not in sync with the needs of sophisticated European customers. The company has formed a joint venture with Thailand’s Thonburi Company, an independent auto assembler, in which Tata Motors will hold a 70% stake.
It has airtanks that can be filled in 4 hours by plugging the car into a standard electrical plug. MDI plans to also design a gas station compressor, which would fill the tanks in 3 minutes. There are no gasoline costs and no fossil fuel emissions from the vehicle. There are cost, pollutant emissions, and greenhouse gas emissions from the generation of the electricity used to compress the air. These emissions can be mitigated or eliminated, depending on the source of the electricity (e.g. coal fired power plant, nuclear, solar, etc.).
OneCAT is a five seat vehicle with a trunk. With full tanks it will run at for range in urban cycle. It is actually a dual fuel car but it is more efficient than any present Hybrid cars.
Tata has developed a car, named Tata Nano, that aims to sell in 2008. It is the least expensive production car in the world: the price is about Rs. 100,000 (USD $2,500). The company unveiled the supermini car during the Auto Expo 2008 exhibition in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. Bajaj Auto and Mahindra-Renault have plans to launch cars in this price range.
Tata has faced controversy over developing the Nano. Some environmentalists are concerned that the launch of such a low-price car could lead to mass motorization in India with adverse effects on pollution and global warming. There was also a strong opposition to the compulsory acquisition of land for the proposed car factory in Singur.But now Tata Motors Limited are going to set up the Nano factory in Sanand, Gujarat, because of problems faced due to opposition politics in Bengal
As of March 26, 2008, Tata Motors reached agreement with Ford to purchase their Jaguar and Land Rover operations for US$2 billion. The sale is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2008. Tata will also gain the rights to the Daimler, Lanchester, and Rover brand names.
Tata Motors has expanded its production and assembly operations to several other countries including South Korea, Thailand, South Africa and Argentina and is planning to set up plants in Turkey, Indonesia and Eastern Europe.
On March 26, 2008 Tata Motors agreed to purchase Jaguar Cars and Land Rover from Ford Motor in a deal worth $2.3bn (£1.15bn). Tata Motors has also acquired from Ford the rights to three other brand names: Daimler, Lanchester and Rover.
However, some major automakers have moved their operations to India to cut costs. Volvo entered India in 1998 to focus on production of its fully built buses. In India, it has focused on providing economical transport solutions in consonance with its values of safety, quality, and environmental care. Its competitive advantage is its high technology which makes the vehicle a very comfortable option to travel through. Tata's trucks have long been reputed for their unmatched performance, build, and technological advancements that are the flag bearers in their production activities in India. It is still operating in the niche market of high end buses where the Tata compete through its Hispano Carrocera and Marcopolo S.A. JV buses.
The Government of India announced an automobile policy in December 1997. The policy required majority-owned subsidiaries of foreign car firms to invest at least US$50 million in equity if they wished to set up manufacturing projects in India. It also forced them to take on export obligations to fund their auto part imports and required them to submit to a schedule for increasing the share of locally made parts in their cars. Mere car assembling operations were not welcomed.
An Indian cabinet panel will soon consider a new automobile policy that aims to set fresh investment guidelines for foreign firms wishing to manufacture vehicles in the country. Investments in making auto parts by a foreign vehicle maker will also be considered a part of the minimum foreign investment made by it in an auto-making subsidiary in India. The move is aimed at helping India emerge as a hub for global manufacturing and sourcing for auto parts. The policy sets an export target of $1 billion by 2005 and US$2.7 billion by 2010. The policies adopted by Government will increase competition in domestic market, motivate many foreign commercial vehicle manufactures to set up shops in India, whom will make India as a production hub and export to nearest market. Thus Tata Motors CV will have to face tough competition in near future, which might affect its growth negatively.
INDIA: TELCO SALES UP 29 PERCENT IN JANUARY.(Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company vehicle sales)(Brief Article)
Feb 11, 2003; India's Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company has reported total sales of 23,316 vehicles in the domestic market for January...
INDIA: FREEMARKETS ANNOUNCES NEW AGREEMENT WITH TATA ENGINEERING.(Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company Ltd.)(Brief Article)
Feb 10, 2002; Indian vehicle manufacturer, Tata Engineering & Locomotive Company, has signed a new long-term agreement with FreeMarkets, a...
INDIA: TELCO VEHICLE SALES RISE 50% IN JULY.(Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company Ltd.)(Brief Article)(Statistical Data Included)
Aug 14, 2002; Tata Engineering and Locomotive said its July domestic vehicle sales jumped 50 per cent to 17,608 units from a year ago. The...