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Get to Know TATA MOTORS...THEY'VE Bought Jaguar and Land Rover - VIDEO ENHANCED

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TACH AUTO CENTRAL - (Originally published) January 30, 2008: For most of us in North America, we know nothing about those car makers that don't sell their products here. And of course, the tendency is to dismiss them as being inferior or unworthy of our attention. But of course, this is not only a preposterous notion from a consumer perspective because its important to have a sense of value, but it’s very short-sighted if you’re a car aficionado. Some of the best and most exciting vehicles produced never touch our shores.

So who is this TATA MOTORS? Who are they to think that they could become the heirs of such grand and magnificent automotive heritages as those belonging to Jaguar and Land Rover?

Well, to begin with, TATA MOTORS is an Indian company.

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Tata Nano being introduced at Auto Expo India
Perhaps you’ll recall the shock wave press stories from just a couple weeks ago, when TATA MOTORS announced the introduction of their “People’s Car,” the Nano. It was also promoted at the first $2,500 car (well, at least the first since about 40 years ago when many cars were just $2,500). In case you missed the announcement, fear not because we at The Auto Channel did not.
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Tata Sumo Grande
And as you can see just below, we have the video from the TATA MOTORS Press Conference at Auto Expo India. Then, towards the bottom of this page, you can also watch a video regarding the introduction of TATA’s new SUV, the Sumo Grande.
Click PLAY to watch the Nano introduction

“Okay,” you ask, “How does TATA go from making a $2,500 car to owning two of the world’s most famous luxury brand?” Here’s how:

Tata Motors is India's largest automobile company, with revenues of Rs. 32,426 crores (USD 7.2 billion) in 2006-07. It is the leader by far in commercial vehicles in each segment, and the second largest in the passenger vehicles market with winning products in the compact, midsize car and utility vehicle segments. The company is the world's fifth largest medium and heavy commercial vehicle manufacturer, and the world's second largest medium and heavy bus manufacturer.

The company's 22,000 employees are guided by the vision to be "best in the manner in which we operate, best in the products we deliver, and best in our value system and ethics." Tata Motors helps its employees realise their potential through innovative HR practices. The company's goal is to empower and provide employees with dynamic career paths in congruence with corporate objectives. All-round potential development and performance improvement is ensured by regular in-house and external training. The company has won several awards recognizing its training programs.

Established in 1945, Tata Motors' presence indeed cuts across the length and breadth of India. There's over 4 million Tata vehicles on Indian roads, since the first rolled out in 1954. The company's manufacturing base is spread across India - Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) in the east, Pune (Maharashtra) in the west, and in the north in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) and Pantnagar (Uttarakhand). A new plant is being set up in Singur (close to Kolkata in West Bengal) to manufacture the company's small car. The nation-wide dealership, sales, services and spare parts network comprises over 2,000 touch points. The company also has a strong auto finance operation, TML Financial Services Limited, supporting customers to purchase Tata Motors vehicles.

Tata Motors, the first company from India's engineering sector to be listed in the New York Stock Exchange (September 2004), has also emerged as an international automobile company. In 2004, it acquired the Daewoo Commercial Vehicles Company, Korea's second largest truck maker. The rechristened Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicles Company has launched several new products in the Korean market, while also exporting these products to several international markets. Today two-thirds of heavy commercial vehicle exports out of South Korea are from Tata Daewoo. In 2005, Tata Motors acquired a 21% stake in Hispano Carrocera, a respected Spanish bus and coach manufacturer, with an option to acquire the remaining stake as well. Hispano's presence is being expanded in other markets. In 2006, it formed a joint venture with the Brazil-based Marcopolo, a global leader in body-building for buses and coaches to manufacture fully-built buses and coaches for India and select international markets. Tata Motors also entered into a joint venture in 2006 with Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Company of Thailand to manufacture and market the company's pickup vehicles in Thailand. In 2006, Tata Motors and Fiat Auto formed an industrial joint venture at Ranjangaon (near Pune in Maharashtra, India) to produce both Fiat and Tata cars and Fiat powertrains for the Indian and overseas markets; Tata Motors already distributes and markets Fiat branded cars in India. In 2007, Tata Motors and Fiat Auto entered into an agreement for a Tata license to build a pick-up vehicle bearing the Fiat nameplate at Fiat Group Automobiles' Plant at Córdoba, Argentina. The pick-up will be sold in South and Central America and select European markets.

These linkages will further extend Tata Motors' international footprint, established through exports since 1961. While currently about 18% of its revenues are from international business, the company's objective is to expand its international business, both through organic and inorganic growth routes. The company's commercial and passenger vehicles are already being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, South East Asia and South Asia. It has assembly operations in Malaysia, Kenya, Bangladesh, Ukraine, Russia and Senegal.

Well, there it is in a nutshell. It’ll be as interesting to watch what happens with Jaguar and Land Rover as it will be to watch how China’s NAC Motors does with the MG and Rover (what’s that you ask, “MG and Rover are now Chinese cars?” Yes, and for more info use our Search Engine located at the top of this page).

And now you know at least some of the story. For additional press info about TATA use The Auto Channel’s Search Engine.

Click PLAY to watch the Sumo Grande video