Tata Motors Limited is India's largest automobile company, with revenues of Rs. 32,426 crores (USD 7.2 billion) in 2006-07. It is the leader by far in commercial vehicles in each segment, and the second largest in the passenger vehicles market with winning products in the compact, midsize car and utility vehicle segments. The company is the world's fifth largest medium and heavy commercial vehicle manufacturer, and the world's second largest medium and heavy bus manufacturer.
The company's 22,000 employees are guided by the vision to be "best in the manner in which we operate, best in the products we deliver, and best in our value system and ethics." Tata Motors helps its employees realise their potential through innovative HR practices. The company's goal is to empower and provide employees with dynamic career paths in congruence with corporate objectives. All-round potential development and performance improvement is ensured by regular in-house and external training. The company has won several awards recognising its training programmes.
Established in 1945, Tata Motors' presence indeed cuts across the length and breadth of India. Over 4 million Tata vehicles ply on Indian roads, since the first rolled out in 1954. The company's manufacturing base is spread across India - Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) in the east, Pune (Maharashtra) in the west, and in the north in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) and Pantnagar (Uttarakhand). A new plant is being set up in Singur (close to Kolkata in West Bengal) to manufacture the company's small car. The nation-wide dealership, sales, services and spare parts network comprises over 2,000 touch points. The company also has a strong auto finance operation, TML Financial Services Limited, supporting customers to purchase Tata Motors vehicles.
Tata Motors, the first company from India's engineering sector to be listed in the New York Stock Exchange (September 2004), has also emerged as an international automobile company. In 2004, it acquired the Daewoo Commercial Vehicles Company, Korea's second largest truck maker. The rechristened Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicles Company has launched several new products in the Korean market, while also exporting these products to several international markets. Today two-thirds of heavy commercial vehicle exports out of South Korea are from Tata Daewoo. In 2005, Tata Motors acquired a 21% stake in Hispano Carrocera, a reputed Spanish bus and coach manufacturer, with an option to acquire the remaining stake as well. Hispano's presence is being expanded in other markets. In 2006, it formed a joint venture with the Brazil-based Marcopolo, a global leader in body-building for buses and coaches to manufacture fully-built buses and coaches for India and select international markets. Tata Motors also entered into a joint venture in 2006 with Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Company of Thailand to manufacture and market the company's pickup vehicles in Thailand. In 2006, Tata Motors and Fiat Auto formed an industrial joint venture at Ranjangaon (near Pune in Maharashtra, India) to produce both Fiat and Tata cars and Fiat powertrains for the Indian and overseas markets; Tata Motors already distributes and markets Fiat branded cars in India. In 2007, Tata Motors and Fiat Auto entered into an agreement for a Tata license to build a pick-up vehicle bearing the Fiat nameplate at Fiat Group Automobiles' Plant at Córdoba, Argentina. The pick-up will be sold in South and Central America and select European markets.
These linkages will further extend Tata Motors' international footprint, established through exports since 1961. While currently about 18% of its revenues are from international business, the company's objective is to expand its international business, both through organic and inorganic growth routes. The company's commercial and passenger vehicles are already being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, South East Asia and South Asia. It has assembly operations in Malaysia, Kenya, Bangladesh, Ukraine, Russia and Senegal.
The foundation of the company』s growth is a deep understanding of economic stimuli and customer needs, and the ability to translate them into customer-desired offerings through leading edge R&D. The R&D establishment includes a team of 1400 scientists and engineers. The company's Engineering Research Centre was established in 1966, and has facilities in Pune, Jamshedpur and Lucknow. The ERC has enabled pioneering technologies and products. It was Tata Motors, which developed the first indigenously developed Light Commercial Vehicle, India's first Sports Utility Vehicle and, in 1998, the Tata Indica, India's first fully indigenous passenger car. Within two years of launch, Tata Indica became India's largest selling car in its segment. The ERC in Pune, among whose facilities are India's only certified crash-test facility and hemi-anechoic chamber for testing of noise and vibration, has received several awards from the Government of India. Some of the more prominent amongst them are the National Award for Research and Development Efforts in Industry in the Mechanical Engineering Industries sector in 1999, the National Award for Successful Commercialisation of Indigenous Technology by an Industrial Concern in 2000, and the CSIR Diamond Jubilee Technology Award in 2004.
The company set up the Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) in 2005 in the UK. TMETC is engaged in design engineering and development of products, supporting Tata Motors' skill sets. Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Company and Hispano Carrocera also have R&D establishments at Gunsan in South Korea and Zaragoza in Spain.
The pace of new product development has quickened through an organisation-wide structured New Product Introduction (NPI) process. The process with its formal structure for introducing new vehicles in the market, brings in greater discipline in project execution. The NPI process helped Tata Motors create a new segment, in 2005, by launching the Tata Ace, India』s first indigenously developed mini-truck. The years to come will see the introduction of several other innovative vehicles, all rooted in emerging customer needs. Besides product development, R&D is also focussing on environment-friendly technologies in emissions and alternative fuels.
Through its subsidiaries, the company is engaged in engineering and automotive
solutions, construction equipment manufacturing, automotive vehicle components manufacturing and supply chain activities, machine tools and factory automation solutions, high-precision tooling and plastic and electronic components for automotive and computer applications, and automotive retailing and service operations.
True to the tradition of the Tata Group, Tata Motors is committed in letter and spirit to Corporate Social Responsibility. It is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, and is engaged in community and social initiatives on labour and environment standards in compliance with the principles of the Global Compact. In accordance with this, it plays an active role in community development, serving rural communities adjacent to its manufacturing locations.
With the foundation of its rich heritage, Tata Motors today is etching a refulgent future.