Many exciting things are in store for Tata Motors Ltd. in the next few years. Customer clinics will begin in 2012 and Tata will make a decision as early as 2013 if it will expand its volume brand's product portfolio and market presence in Europe. Automotive News Europe heard from Naveen Mishra, Tata Motors' regional head for Europe, that Tata’s design and engineering centers in Europe are outlining a possible lineup of models created for the European market.
In 2008, Tata Motors, India's No. 2 automaker, purchased Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motor Co. for $2.3 billion.
This gave Tata instant credibility in Europe. But its core Tata brand continues to be a minor player in Europe. Its private importers in Italy, Spain, Poland and Turkey are only able to sell a few thousand units annually.
In fact, only trucks are sold by Tata in Russia. Mishra said that Tata is getting the minicar, subcompact and compact segment models ready for the customer clinics since he is convinced that these segments will grow the most in Europe.
Mishra said that Tata brand's range of new cars for Europe will be ready by 2013, enabling Tata to make quick moves if it opts to expand. In 2010, Tata sold around 7,500 passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in Italy, Spain, Poland and Turkey.
Tata's sales volume is predicted to decrease to about 6,000 units in 2011, primarily because of sluggish sales in Spain. Tata is relying on private importers in Europe like Melian Italia Srl, which is based near Bolzano, northern Italy.
Tata’s oldest importer in Europe is Melian, which introduced Tata commercial vehicles at the Bologna show 18 years ago, according to Melian CEO Julia Wilson.