The Rs 1 lakh Tata car project is entering the last lap. Tata Motors, which is planning to launch the car in early 2008, has finalised 15 vendors and technological alliances for the project.
A team, led by former Tata Quality Management Services executive Girish Wagh (35), has been formed to finish the project on time. While R Balakrishan is heading the planning division for the small car project, BB Parikh is at the helm of vendor development. The company is readying a war chest to fund its expansion plans and the new launches. It announced on Wednesday a decision to raise $450 million (Rs 1,833 crore), excluding a greenshoe option, through overseas securities.
The company has firmed up the list of 15 vendors to supply parts for the small car, to be built at Singur in West Bengal. These include Sona Koyo Steerings, Rico Auto, Kinetic Engineering and Gabriel, besides Tata’s own subsidiaries Tata Ryerson, Tata Bearings and Tata Johnson Controls.
These vendors will provide parts for the car, and will be responsible for their overall quality. According to analysts and street estimates, the Rs 1 lakh car needs to sell millions of units for the venture to be profitable. Ratan Tata has said the car will create a “high volume” market.
Technology for the future portfolio of Tata Motors’ passenger cars is also in place. Tata Motors has a declared investments of Rs 796.86 crore for acquiring technology in design and development in the last year. Most of this technology was imported from Europe.
Italy’s Institute of Development in Automotive Engineering is a major source of design and styling for Tatas’ passenger and commercial vehicle platforms. Tata Motors tied up with Austria Delphi of France and AVL List of Germany for common rail diesel technology. Technology for safety, in vehicle networking and sealed integrated braking systems is currently being made available by various companies and institutes in Europe. In the past year, Tata Motors has tied up with five such companies for transfer of technology to India.