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Tata Motors expected to launch more expensive versions of the Nano

The image of Tata Motors’ Nano car as a cheap car that’s an alternative to a motor scooter didn’t actually do much good. That’s why Tata Motors is expected to launch more expensive models that are based on the Nano, the compact car launched in 2008 that only cost $2,000. It’s true that the Nano caught the world’s attention but the market in India didn’t quite match that enthusiasm with sales.

Since deliveries started in July 2009, only 229,157 Nanos have been sold. Sales in March 2013 were 86% lower than in the previous year. According to Tata Managing Director Karl Slym, the Nano won’t be discontinued but instead, it will get improvements meant to revive the model and for its prices to be nearer to those of its competitors.

Slym said that the Nano's marketing "didn't gel with anybody." Those who drove scooters weren’t drawn in since they didn’t see Nano as a real car but as something that’s between a bike and a car. It also didn’t appeal to car owners since it was marketed as a two-wheeler replacement.

Read the entire article Tata Motors expected to launch more expensive versions of the Nano

Tata Motors extends Nano sales throughout India

Mumbai, India-based automaker Tata Motors Ltd. recently said that its Nano (the world's cheapest car) will be available through Tata's 874 outlets across India. The Nano went on sale nationwide after easier financing and lengthier warranties helped sales recover from a record low.

Nano sales had been limited to 12 states as Tata Motors worked to meet the initial orders and increased output at a new factory. The Nano costs as cheap as INR137,555 in New Delhi.

Its sales increased more than tenfold in December 2010 from a month earlier after the Nano’s television advertisements started airing and after Tata added more sales points in smaller towns and presented an INR99 ($2)-a- month maintenance option.

Read the entire article Tata Motors extends Nano sales throughout India

Tata Motors offers safety upgrades for Nano after 7 cars catch fire

Sales of Tata Motors Ltd.’s Nano have been dropping but now, the manufacturer of the world’s cheapest car faces another setback. Owners of the Tata Nano car, which was launched in 2009, will be contacted and will be offered the option to install safety protection in the vehicles. Last year, a few of these vehicles had caught fire.

In a statement, Tata said that about 70,000 owners will be offered the option of installing "additional safety protection in the exhaust system and the electrical system." Tata emphasized that this move is not a recall, explaining that the fires were specific to the units.

Tata added that the investigation conducted by a group of internal and international experts has once again concluded that the reasons for the incidents in few Tata Nano cars are specific to the cars which had such incidents.

Read the entire article Tata Motors offers safety upgrades for Nano after 7 cars catch fire

Tata Motors may make checks on all Nanos sold until now

Tata Motors chose to play down the three incidents reported of Tata Nano models catching fire within the past month, insisting that there will be no recalls since there is no technical or design fault with the car.

A total of 7,500 units of Tata Nano compact city car have been released so far and its possible that the company may have to make checks on all of them.

The Hindustan Times report lists the incidents: a tata Nano caught fire in Ahmedabad last month followed by two similar incidents in Lucknow and Delhi. The incidents have cast serious doubts about the safety of the vehicle.

Read the entire article Tata Motors may make checks on all Nanos sold until now

The Tata Nano will come with the standard and deluxe variants and both will offer wide ranging body color finish and elements so that the car can be modified to the owner's own liking.

The drivertain of the Nano is an all-aluminum 623cc powerplant that come with only two cylinders generating 33hp (25kW) with a maximum speed of 60mph (96km/h).

Thin-pressed metal make up its bodywork, and it is equipped with modern safety elements like crumple zones, seat belts and intrusion-resistant door.

Read the entire article Tata Nano goes on sale for $2,000

It seems the highly successful Renault-Nissan Alliance has led to more partnerships between carmakers. Volkswagen and TATA Motors have reportedly inked a longtime partnership deal on Wednesday. The two companies have allegedly signed a Mou or Memorandum of Understanding towards the development of new technologies, products and platforms. According to Autocar India, it has been more than a year since the manufacturers have been talking about the agreement.

The German automaker has been eyeing the Indian manufacturer as potential partner in exploring new markets. Being the largest vehicle firm in India, Tata Motors is also looking to increase its sales margin within or outside its market range. Nevertheless, this new partnership will help Tata come out with more vehicle lineups by 2019. It should be noted though that Jaguar, Land Rover and TAMO (TATA’s sub-brands) are not part of the alliance.

TATA’s latest AMP (or Advanced Modular Platform) is probably the most feasible architecture for the new collaboration. After the AMP received the EDAG approval, Volkswagen has found a more affordable alternative to its existing MQB-A platform. The AMP offers flexible architecture as well as definite cost advantage. At the very least, this will allow them to produce more extensive model range.

Read the entire article VW AG and TATA Motors formed an alliance to develop new products

Tata Motors' profit in the quarter that ended March declined amid the decreasing demand in China for Jaguar Land Rover vehicles. In the latest quarter, Tata Motors’ net income decreased by 56% to 17.2 billion rupees ($269 million), from 39.2 billion rupees the previous year. In a statement last Tuesday, Tata Motors said that profit at the Jaguar Land Rover unit decreased by 33% to 302 million pounds ($465 million).

When compared to the same quarter last year, the retail sales volume of Jaguar Land Rover in the past quarter fell as it was driven down by a decrease in demand for luxury vehicles in China. Another factor that adversely affected Tata Motors' earnings was a persistent slump in sales of its light commercial vehicles in its home market India.

In the quarter, the revenue of Tata Motors climbed by 3.5% to 675.8 billion rupees. Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover sales rose by 8.9% to 5.83 billion pounds. Tata Motors’ statement further reveals that the profit of JLR before tax declined by 31% due to higher depreciation and amortization, as well as "unfavorable revaluation of foreign currency debt and unrealized hedges that are not eligible for hedge accounting treatment."

Read the entire article Tata Motors’ net income in 1st Quarter of 2015 falls 56% to $269 million

Tata Motors Ltd. is planning to generate up to INR75 billion ($1.2 billion) in a rights offer to increase its capital. In an exchange filing, Tata said that it is offering six shares for every 109 held at INR450 each, representing a 15-percent discount to the closing price Tuesday last week. Those who hold so-called differential voting rights will be offered stock in the same proportion at INR271 each.

According to Tata, it would invest around INR40 billion annually at its Indian operations in the next two to three years, and up to GBP3.7 billion ($5.5 billion) annually over the same period at Jaguar Land Rover on product development and expansion.

Piyush Jain, an analyst at Morningstar Investment Adviser (India) Pvt., wrote in a note that Tata priced the share issue “conservatively,” saying that the higher dilution relative to expectations is not materially significant to cause any change in their fair value estimate of INR700 per share.

Read the entire article Tata Motors eyes up to $1.2 billion in rights offer

Tata Motors builds what is considered as the cheapest car in the world, the Nano. Tata launched the Nano in 2009 at a tag of around $2,500, attracting low-income households in India who could only afford motorcyles. Ratan Tata, the carmaker’s chairman emeritus who championed the development of the car, is now rethinking the “cheap” tag of the Nano.

Tata remarked at the South Carolina Automotive Summit that the Nano got branded as India’s cheapest car, not the most affordable or the best value for the money. He noted that the Nano gained the stigma of “I don’t want to be seen in the cheapest car. My neighbors will think I have no money.”

Tata, who retired as chairman in December 2012, said the company is trying to reposition the Nano into a real car “with more bells and whistles” that would stand out in the marketplace. During an on-stage interview with Automotive News Editor-in-Chief Keith Crain, Tata quipped that he pushed for development of the Nano to provide low-income Indian families a safer transportation alternative than motorcycles.

Read the entire article Tata wants to get rid of “cheapest” tag for the Nano

Ok, we have to admit that we saw this coming! According to the latest reports from a Delhi-based newspaper, Tata Motors is working on two new upscale SUVs that will use technology developed by Jaguar Land Rover. Set to arrive in 2017, the five- and the seven-seater SUVs will be sold not only in India, but also in Gulf Cooperation Council countries and South-East Asia.

The company aims to sell 80,000 SUVs and the vehicles will be a fresh addition in the lineup after the Aria crossover proved to be a failure. Tata Motors sold only 376 units of the Aria last year, while a year before 927 units left the dealerships.

Codenamed Q501 (five-seater SUV) and Q502 (seven-seater SUV), the vehicles are part of a long product pipeline till 2020. Still, the vehicles will be an interesting addition taking in consideration that both will be positioned as premium cars with a price range of $20,000 to $31,000.

Read the entire article Tata Motors planning two premium SUVs loaded with Jaguar Land Rover technology

Tata Motors tripled its net income for the first quarter ended June 30, 2014 to INR54 billion ($882 million) thanks to increasing sales at its Jaguar Land Rover unit. Jaguar Land Rover particularly boosted its pre-tax profit by more than double from GBP415 million to GBP924 million ($1.6 billion).

Earnings at Jaguar Land Rover were helped by increasing demand for the Jaguar F-Type convertible and Range Rover SUVs. The carmaker saw its deliveries in the quarter ended June 30, 2014 jump 22 percent to 115,596 vehicles.

Better business at Jaguar Land Rover is helping Tata Motors remain afloat, as the company continues to grapple to make profitable its Indian operations that sells Tata-brand cars, buses and trucks.

Read the entire article Tata Motors triples Q1 net income thanks to strong Jaguar Land Rover earnings

Tesla Motors Inc. has appointed the seventh member of its board of directors in the persona of Robyn Denholm. Denholm, who is Juniper Networks Inc.'s executive vice president and chief financial and operations officer, will join Tesla's board on Aug. 11, 2014, thereby becoming its first female director. She will be tasked to head Tesla's audit committee.

She will be a member of the compensation committee and the nominating and corporate governance committee. According to Tesla, Denholm will be taking over board functions once held by Brad Buss, who is giving them up after he was tapped as chief financial officer of SolarCity Corp.

Buss will still be a member of the board. Other board members include Chief executive and chairman Elon Musk; Antonio Gracias; Kimbal Musk; Ira Ehrenpreis; and Steve Jurvetson.

Read the entire article Tesla Motors names Robyn Denholm as 7th board member

For the next six years, Tata Motors will release a lineup of vehicles that it intends to offer globally, company MD Karl Slym said. Even if Tata Motors has gotten more success with its commercial vehicles, Tata aims to form a family of world-class passenger cars, which will all be based on the Advanced Modular Platform (a new, flexible, Volkswagen Group-style architecture).

Tata Motors aims to prioritize the replacement of the existing road car lineup, which includes the Indica hatch (the model that became the City Rover in 2003). Tata’s lineup struggled in India during the recent sharp downturn in the country. The Australian media reported that the new platform will surpass the achievements of the Volkswagen Group.

When interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald, Dr Tim Leverton, Tata Motors’ head of research and development, said that VW had to go through “six or seven generations” of products to get to its present status but that Tata would “go directly to a very interesting solution.” He said that the AMP will be flexible in length as well as in width.

Read the entire article Tata Motors plans an Advanced Modular Platform for global expansion

As sales of Jaguar Land Rover unit grew quickly, Tata Motors was able to raise its income in the second quarter of the 2013 by 71 percent to INR35.4 billion ($564 million).

Tata Motors said that the profit of its Jaguar Land Rover unit increased by 66 percent to GBP507 million ($815 million) in this quarter. The strong demand for Jaguar models, such as the jaguar F-Type convertible that started deliveries in May 2013, drove up retail sales to increase at its quickest pace in four quarters.

Tata Motors started selling the latest Range Rover Sport in several markets like the United Kingdom and China and intends to introduce the model in more markets. Mahantesh Sabarad, an analyst at Fortune Financial Services India Ltd. in Mumbai, said that JLR is “driving more than 100 percent of the profit” while the parent is incurring losses.

Read the entire article Tata Motors income in the 2nd quarter increased by 71% thanks to Jaguar, Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover may be headed for trouble as it faces declining margins and increasing capital expenditure. JLR’s cash pile is being eaten into due to increasing investment. This increases the likelihood of fresh borrowing, as declining profitability saw parent Tata Motors Ltd report its first decline in profits in five quarters. In the past financial year, JLR made up about 90% of Tata Motors' net profit.

This means that investors are more closely monitoring the UK unit's margins compared to those at Tata's domestic business. Tata has made use of JLR’s cash flows to resolve the debt that was incurred due to the purchase of JLR from Ford Motor Co. in 2008 for $2.3 billion. Because of the heavier dependence on lower-margin models like the Land Rover Evoque and Freelander as well as the unfavourable currency movements, JLR's profit margin decreased. Furthermore, free cash flow (FCF) at the unit became negative only months after it paid its weaker parent a maiden dividend.

JLR said that negative cash flow will continue in the next financial year as the carmaker begins 2.75 billion pound ($4.3 billion) a year investment program on its plants and product pipeline. The net profit of Tata for the third quarter had much lower market estimates at 16.28 billion rupees ($303 million), a 52% drop year-on-year and the first drop since the quarter to September 2011. Thomson Reuters Starmine said that analysts had expected average profit of 28.9 billion rupees.

Read the entire article Tata Motors sees profit fall as Jaguar Land Rover may be headed for trouble

Tata Motors denies that it is considering a plan to construct an auto assembly plant in Romania. According to the dailybusiness.ro Web site, the company is planning to invest 1 billion euros to open a production plant to build cars, buses, trucks and commercial vehicles. When asked by Automotive News Europe, a Tata Motors spokesman said there’s no plan like that being considered.

Tata was able to get a foothold in 2008 in Europe when it acquired Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motor Co. for $2.3 billion. The core Tata brand’s presence in the region is small.

It sells only a few thousand units each year. Tata presently sells the Vista hatchback and the Aria crossover in Italy and Spain. Since the Nano was launched in India in 2009, Tata had thought about offering the minicar in Europe.

Read the entire article Tata Motors denies reports about a possible plant in Romania

The Tata Nano will be getting its third makeover since its launch in 2009. Known as the cheapest car in the world, the Nano will be getting an 800 cc engine. Meanwhile, the company is also thinking about offering a diesel option.

The makeover was planned in response to poor sales, which fell to a new low in November. The company set a goal of 10,000 units but it only sold 3,500 cars. Insiders said that an all-new Nano may be released 12 months from now, priced at about Rs 2.5 lakh for the base petrol version.

This new version is expected to rival Hyundai Eon and the Maruti Alto. Analysts said that the diesel option is a good move. Basudeb Banerjee of brokerage Quant Capital said that the market will have a more accepting attitude of a Nano 800 cc diesel.

Read the entire article Tata Nano will get an 800 cc engine

Tata Motors is thinking about offering a version of its Nano for the U.S. market, according to reports. It seems that Tata is considering such a project due to the success of the Fiat 500 and the Chevy Spark. Back in 2009 when the Tata Nano made its debut as the cheapest car available, it got a lot of attention. However, it wasn’t successful when it came to sales.

According to the Indian Express, Tata sold only 74,527 units in fiscal year 2011, which is decent but it failed to reach the initial targets. Another obstacle that the Tata Nano faced was in 2009 and 2010 when there were reported cases of electrical/exhaust fires. The company said that these problems had already been repaired. The Tata Nano faces several challenges before it can get the go signal to be available in the U.S.

First of all, it doesn’t have airbags or two wing mirrors. It also doesn’t have any traction or stability control or power steering. It is powered by a 624-cc two-cylinder Bosch engine that has an output of just 37 hp. If a Tata Nano does arrive in the U.S., it would likely be a production car based on the 2009 Nano Europa concept, which is powered by a three-cylinder engine partnered to an automatic transmission.

Read the entire article Rumor: Tata planning a bigger version of its Nano for the United States market

Tata Motors is considering a plan to open a factory in Saudi Arabia to build Jaguar Land Rover vehicles, chairman Ratan Tata said to Autocar India. He said that this plant would be positioned beside a new aluminum smelter. He added that this smelter will mean that the production of aluminum in Saudi Arabia would be highly competitive.

He explained that the company is looking into a business case of this assembly plant beside a large press shop in the long-term, especially with its focus on using aluminium in its products. Saudi Arabian Mining Co. (Maaden) and Alcoa have entered a joint venture to build this smelter, which is likely to begin production in 2013.

For many decades, Saudi Arabia (the top oil exporter in the world and the largest economy in the Middle East) has been hoping to make use of its bountiful natural resources to diversify its economy into complex industries. The electricity prices in the Saudi Arabian industry are affordable because of low natural gas prices. The conservative Islamic kingdom currently doesn’t have an auto industry yet to speak of.

Read the entire article Tata Motors planning to build Jaguar, Land Rover vehicles in Saudi Arabia

The chairman of Tata Motors, Ratan Tata, disclosed that he plans to re-promote the budget Nano minicar, after sales declined following fire incidents involving at least three cars. In an interview with Bloomberg TV India, Tata said that the Nano is something he would “love to make successful,” as it has yet to reach its full potential. Tata remarked there has to be another push to “make Nano what it can be." The Nano, conceived by Tata as the world's cheapest car, carries a starting price of INR141,898 ($2,565). It was developed as an upgrade option for millions of Indian motorcycle owners. Tata Motors launched the Nano in 2009. Sales plunged to just 509 units in November 2010 after the vehicles caught fire.

Although Tata Motors said that the fires were isolated cases, sales of the Nano continue to fall behind pricier models. Tata decided to develop the Nano after seeing a family riding on a scooter. Issues troubled the Nano even before its rollout. The carmaker was forced to desert an almost-complete plant in West Bengal state due to violent protests by farmers demanding the return of land purchased for the site.

After the fire incidents, Tata Motors lengthened warranties in December 2010 to four years or 60,000 kilometers (37,290 miles) and began offering up to 90 percent financing through Tata Motors Finance Ltd. The hike in borrowing costs, however, somewhat hurt the pockets of consumers that Tata Motors targeted to make an upgrade from motorcycles. Those target consumers chose to acquire cheaper two-wheelers, affecting sales of the Nano.

Read the entire article Tata plans new marketing push for Nano to recover from fire controversy