After Nano, Tata Motors to focus now on JLR

Written by fe Bureaus | Mumbai | Updated: Aug 27 2009, 05:04am hrs
Nano has taken a back seat as Tata Motors management is taking steps to bring its pricey acquisition of UK marquee brands Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR) back on track. Ratan N Tata, chairman, said on Tuesday at the companys 64th annual general meeting, We are confident of making JLR leaner and cost-effective. The market conditions are worse for volumes but encouraging for new products and several mew models will come. There are challenges but it is not due to our products or portfolio but due to the overall economic condition worldwide, Tata said and added that the acquisition has been worthwhile and that he refutes all the commentaries saying JLR has been high-priced and endangers the companys well being.

However, he made a passing comment saying that if Jaguar and Land Rover were up for sale separately, the company would have just looked at Land Rover. Talking about the benefits of the buy-out, Tata said, JLR gives us entry into high-end and performance cars. And we get access to defence through the Land Rover range.

Volumes of JLR over the 10 months post acquisition reduced by 32% compared to the comparable period in the previous year resulting in loss before tax of 281 million pound. Tata Motors had acquired the two brands on June 2, 2008, from Ford Motor Company for $ 2.3 billion in an all-cash transaction.

Indicating that the economies are showing signs of recovery, Tata said the Indian economy would recover faster than the others. He said, Indian automobile industry once again will take a cornerstone of becoming a manufacturing base.

On the much talked about Nano, the company said that the Sanand plant in Gujarat would be ready by early next year and the focus would continue to be on the Indian market. We plan to launch Nano Europa by 2011-12, said Tata.