It might be missing the high profile attention that it received in 2008, at the unveiling of Nano, but Tata Motors unveiled quite a few vehicles at the 10th Auto Expo here, on Tuesday. Among the highlights were the premium luxury sedan, Jaguar XJ and a seven-seater sports utility vehicle, Tata Aria. Other displays included Tata Venture and the four-seater public carrier Tata Magic Iris.
Ratan Tata addressed the press on various issues. Excerpts:
On building Nano for developed countries
There is a market for low-priced cars in developed countries, too. But for America, we need a large engine, more crash tests, and we are in the process of doing that. It may take around three years to launch the Nano in the US.
On meeting the Nano’s booking commitments
We are making efforts to increase capacity at our existing plants and our intention is to make sure that we maximise the capacity and deliver the cars to those who wish to have it.
On alternative fuel system
We are working on electrical hybrid, multifuel CNG, biofuels and are looking at electric cars. We are looking to apply it to Nano and make it a small electric car. The electric Indica will be launched in Denmark and UK by April 2011.
On the Jaguar Land Rover acquisition
The acquisition was not done with a short-term objective and acquisitions are done because they are strategically important and add value in the long term. It is not a short term acquisition looking to add to our turnover or to our egos, but because in the long term our company will gain great value out of it. We have got more than we anticipated from what we acquired.
Today, we have no plans to do anything in Singur. We still hold the lease of the land, however we will not stand in the way for another usage of the land if we are compensated for what we are leaving behind. We went to Singur to make investment and create jobs. We have had no discussion with the government and have not decided what to do with the land.
I do have a deadline for my retirement and responsibility for my succession, and both these things will take place.