Tata for retirement after Rs 1 lakh car launch

Written by Agencies | London, December 30: | Updated: Dec 30 2007, 18:47pm hrs
Head of the Tata Group Ratan Tata would like to retire from active business life after his dream project -- the Rs one-lakh car -- is launched successfully, a media report said.

"In an ideal world, after the small car has been launched and is successful, that would be a nice time for me to exit," Tata told the Financial Times newspaper.

Tata Motors, the automotive arm of the over Rs three-trillion market value group, is scheduled to unveil the vehicle, touted as the world's cheapest mass-produced car, on January 10 at an auto expo in New Delhi.

Rival car makers are, however, not convinced about the safety and emission standards of the car, coming as it is at that price level.

Reacting to this, Tata told the British newspaper that "we are producing a car that will be no more polluting than a motorcycle."

Tata told the Financial Times, which has named him among the three entrepreneurs making their presence felt around the world, "as we are not going to produce millions and millions of them, inundating the country, we will not be adding to the carbon footprint on a per-passenger basis."

The report said that there was a big gap between the cost of the average two-wheeler and entry-level cars such as the Maruti 800, which retails for about 5,000 dollars, and Tata plans to fill it.

"The only reason we did not make the Rs one-lakh car a hybrid, for example, is that it could not have been priced at Rs one lakh," said Tata, who celebrated his 70th birthday on December 28.