Jag, Rover to retain marquee status: Tata | business | Hindustan Times
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Jag, Rover to retain marquee status: Tata

business Updated: Mar 06, 2008 00:01 IST
Vijay Dutt
Vijay Dutt
Hindustan Times
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Over British 15,000 workers at three Ford plants producing the Jaguar and the Land Rover and their management were delighted to hear Ratan Tata’s assurance that there was no intention to outsource production nor tinker with the technology.

The automobile industry here has also been worried by concerns that the takeover by the Tata group would lead to its end in Britain.

But Ratan Tata, speaking from the Geneva Motor Show, assuringly said, “Our intention about Jaguar Land Rover is not to takeover the technology, not to outsource (production), but instead we are only interested in the brands and the cultures behind them. We plan to retain the image, touch and feel of these brands and not tinker with them in any way.”

A Tata spokesperson told the Hindustan Times here that Tata realises that both Land Rover and Jaguar are British marquees and therefore their brand image should not be altered at all.

This is great news for “addicts” of both marquees, said a major dealer of the two luxury cars.

Tata Motors, aaccording to an earlier report, is in final negotiations to purchase the companies from troubled US car maker Ford for a rumoured $2billion, although an announcement is not expected for at least a week. Tata said that management teams of the companies that Tata has previously acquired — Corus Steel, Daewoo and Tetley tea — were still in place. “These brands belong to Britain and they will continue to belong to Britain. Who owns them is immaterial as the brands belong to Britain and the West Midlands.”

Meanwhile, a Corus spokesperson told HT that the high credibility of Tata brand and high standard of the quality of its products has helped Corus, Europe’s second-largest steel producer with annual revenues of over £11 billion and a crude steel production of about 20 million tonne, had staved off international competition to win a contract to supply steel for the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers.

Corus will supply more than 80,000 tonne of structural steel for the carriers which will be the biggest and most powerful surface warships ever constructed for the Royal Navy. Around 90 per cent of the steel will be manufactured at Corus facilities in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, Dalzell, near Motherwell, in Scotland, and Skinningrove in Teesside.

The £3.8bn state-of-the-art carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince ofWales are due to enter service in 2014 and 2016, respectively. Corus will start rolling steel for the aircraft carriers later this year. Richard White, Corus general manager sales and marketing for sections and plates, said, “This success confirms our ability to produce world-class steel.” Meanwhile, the people’s car Nano, driven by Tata himself, was unveiled at the Geneva Motor show and vied for attention with the new Ford Fiesta, a Tata spokesperson said.