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Tuesday, Mar 30, 2004

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Tata Motors vows to turn Daewoo unit profitable

Raghuvir Srinivasan

Gunsan (South Korea) , March 29

TATA Motors today took an important step towards becoming a global automobile company when it formally acquired control over the $250-million (Rs 1,100 crore) Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Company Ltd (DWCV), South Korea.

The shares in DWCV representing 100 per cent ownership were handed over to Mr Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Motors, at a ceremony in the DWCV plant in Gunsan by the Official Receiver and President of DWCV, Mr Kwang Ok Chae.

Receiving the shares, Mr Tata pledged that Tata Motors would work with the company to make it "extremely profitable and help it grow in both the domestic and international markets."

"We would like to see this company operate as a Korean company in Korea, managed by Koreans but part of a global alliance managed by Tata Motors," Mr Tata said.

Expressing his sense of happiness and satisfaction with the acquisition, Mr Tata said that after having a look at the products, the plant and the "genuine enthusiasm of the employees," he believed that the decision to take over the company was a right one.

Mr Kwang said that the Tatas would be the right partner for future growth of the company and that he looked forward to support from Tata Motors to add medium commercial vehicles to the existing products of DWCV.

Presiding over the ceremony were the Governor of Jeon-uk province, where Gunsan is located, Mr Hyon Wok Kang; the Mayor of Gunsan, Mr Keun Ho Kang; and the Indian Ambassador to South Korea, Mr P. S. Ray, who said that not since Emperor Ashoka has India ventured so far into the Far East with a message of friendship, cooperation and hope.

Later, addressing employees of the company, Mr Tata said he understood their feelings as Tata Motors has also been through troubled times like DWCV. "I hope to see bigger smiles on your faces the next time," he told them.

Mr Tata began with a tour of the plant and later in the evening the Mayor of Kunsan town is holding a civic reception in his honour.

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