Established in 1945, Tata Motors is India's largest automobile company, with revenues of Rs 24,000 crore (USD 5.5 billion) in 2005-06. The company began manufacturing commercial vehicles in 1954 with a 15-year collaboration agreement with Daimler Benz of Germany. 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 and utility vehicle segments. The company is the world's fifth-largest medium and heavy commercial vehicle manufacturer.
Areas of business
Tata Motors' product range covers passenger cars, multi-utility vehicles as well as light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles for goods and passenger transport. Seven out of 10 medium and heavy commercial vehicles in India bear the trusted Tata mark. The company developed India's first indigenously developed light commercial vehicle, India's first sports utility vehicle and, in 1998, the Tata Indica — India's first indigenously manufactured passenger car. Within two years of launch, Tata Indica became India's largest selling car in its segment.
Commercial vehicle business unit
The company has over 130 models of light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles ranging from two tonnes to forty tonnes, buses ranging from 12-seaters to 60-seaters, tippers, special purpose vehicles, off-road vehicles and defence vehicles.
Passenger car business unit
The company's passenger car range comprises the compact car Indica, the midsize Indigo and Indigo Marina in both petrol and diesel versions. The Tata Sumo, the Tata Safari and its variants are the company's multi-utility vehicle offerings.
In addition to the growth opportunities in the domestic market, the company is pursuing growth through acquisitions. In 2004, it acquired the Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Company, Korea's second-largest truck maker, now named Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicles Company. In 2005, Tata Motors acquired a 21-per cent stake in Hispano Carrocera, a reputed Spanish bus and coach manufacturer, with an option to acquire the remaining stake as well.
Research and development
Tata Motors invests approximately up to 2 per cent of its annual turnover on research and development, with an emphasis on new product / aggregates development and technology upgradation. Its Engineering Research Centre in Pune employs over 1,400 scientists and engineers and has India's only certified crash-test facility and hemi-anechoic chamber for testing of noise and vibration.
The company also draws on the resources of leading international design and styling houses like the Institute of Development in Automotive Engineering, SPA, Italy, and Stile Bertoni, Italy. The company has also been implementing several environmentally sensitive technologies in manufacturing processes and uses some of the world's most advanced equipment for emission checking and control.
Tata Motors has led the Indian automobile industry's anti-pollution efforts through a series of initiatives in effluent and emission control. The company introduced emission control engines in its vehicles in India before the norm was made statutory. All its products meet required emission standards in the relevant geographies. Modern effluent treatment facilities, soil and water conservation programmes and tree plantation drives at its plant locations contribute to the protection of the environment and the creation of green belts.
Tata Motors' vehicles are exported primarily to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South and South East Asia and Australia. The company also has assembly operations in Malaysia, Bangladesh, Ukraine, Kenya and Russia. Over the years, the company has received more than 50 awards from the government of India's Engineering Export Promotion Council, for its export initiatives. While currently about 14 per cent (as on March 31, 2005) of its revenues are from its...