Will roll out new models under JLR brand, says Ratan Tata

Tata Motors has sought a compensation of about Rs 1,400 crore from the West Bengal Government towards losses in the Singur land issue. At the annual general meeting of Tata Motors, Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons, said the company has sought compensation for the losses incurred due to the stalling of the Tata Nano project in Singur.

Tata Motors was forced to vacate the Singur land that had been leased by the company for production of the small car. Due to strong opposition by the Trinamool Congress, then in the Opposition in the Bengal Assembly, the car-maker had to shift the production facility to Sanand in Gujarat.

When the dispute broke out, the company had sought an equivalent amount of land ``across the street’’ for farmers whose land parcels were taken away, said Ratan Tata, but it was rejected.

Spanish connection

On its international business, Ratan Tata said the company is reviewing the Tata Hispano ‘situation’ considering the downturn in the Spanish economy. “Spain is, at this point, far from good. We are wondering whether to continue with it or not,” he said.

In March 2010, Tata Motors bought over Hispano Carrocera S.A., making it a 100 per cent subsidiary and renamed it Tata Motors Hispano Carrocera S.A. The Spanish-subsidiary specialises in the bus and coach segment and has plants in Spain and Morocco with sales in various parts of Europe.

As for the Jaguar-Land Rover (JLR) business, Ratan Tata said the company plans to introduce a wide range of products under the JLR brand. “We are looking to introduce new models under the JLR brand. We know it is an ambitious task. But we are working on it and should have a whole range of products in different price ranges,” he said.

Speaking about the two-seater sports car from JLR, Ratan Tata said the board has approved the development of a small high-performance engine. He also hinted that the company would look at co-producing the small JLR engine in the country.

Dream project

Addressing what was his last Tata Motors’ AGM, the Chairman of Tata Sons persevered in backing his dream ‘Tata Nano’ project. He said, “We have to do more to propagate the Nano brand. We have a 1,000-demo points now, but we still need to do more.’’

sneha.p@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 10, 2012)
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