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Tata to build car plants abroad

autos Updated: Mar 06, 2011 21:48 IST
Manu P Toms

The country's largest indigenous car-maker, Tata Motors, is looking to take its globalisation plans to the next level by building passenger car plants in strategic off-shore locations.

The company will assemble its Indica and Indigo models besides micro-car Nano at these plants, a top source said. The overseas locations are likely to be in countries such as Indonesia, South Africa and Brazil to tap the east Asian, African and South American markets respectively.

PM Telang, managing director, India operations, Tata Motors told Hindustan Times, "We are looking at various options to improve our passenger car exports. At this stage we cannot reveal our exact plan."

Tata Motors recently firmed up its car exports plans, including the setting up of assembly plants in multiple overseas locations and appointing distributors in countries where the company does not have a presence at the moment.

Former BMW head of sales in Qatar, Johnny Oommen, recently joined Tata Motors as head of its international business, passenger cars, directly reporting to Telang.

Former passenger car business unit vice-president S Krishnan is now heading the South American operations of the company, which is also looking to establish a firm presence in South America.

The company thinks Indica Vista and Indigo Manza will appeal to the emerging markets. In Europe, the company's plans are largely centred around small city cars, mainly electric ones. Last week it unveiled the Pixel, a city car based on the Nano platform, and plans to offer an electric variant as well when the car hits production.

This year so far, Tata Motors' exports have grown 73% to 52,112 units - a major of which were trucks and buses.

About car exports, all Telang would say was, "It is not growing the way we want. We certainly have some plans."