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Posts Tagged ‘Tata Motors’

Jaguar Land Rover Posts Profit for 2014

Maker sells more than 462K vehicles globally.

by on May.26, 2015

Though shorter overall, a longer wheelbase translates into much better rear seat space.

The renaissance of Jaguar Land Rover continues as the maker reported it earnings of $6.4 billion on revenue of $33.6 billion for its fiscal year that ended March 31.

The results marked the fifth year in a row that the luxury car and SUV maker reported profits. The earnings result, which is before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) are up 1.4% compared with the year-ago results, the company reported.

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“Jaguar Land Rover has delivered five years of solid financial results, enabling us to invest in our long-term future,” said Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer Ralf Speth. “This has positioned the company strategically and financially for continued sustainable growth. The past year has been one of significant achievement, with the expansion of our vehicle ranges and our manufacturing footprint.” (more…)

Jaguar Land Rover Opens First Overseas Plant – in China, of Course

China already JLR's biggest market.

by on Oct.22, 2014

A Range Rover Evoq moves down the assembly land at JLR's new assembly plant near Shanghai.

That “veddy” British automaker, Jaguar Land Rover, is looking a little less Anglo-Saxon every day. First, it was acquired by American maker Ford, then sold to Indian upstart Tata Motors. And now, JLR has opened up its first foreign manufacturing plant. In China, of course.

The Asian nation is already the world’s largest automotive market and, by most accounts, is expected to top the global luxury sales charts, as well, by the end of the decade. It is, in fact, already Jaguar Land Rover’s single-largest market.

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And the maker is expecting to see that grow significantly, in part, because localizing production will eliminate the hefty Chinese tariff on automotive imports. (more…)

Jaguar Land Rover Reportedly Sharing Platforms with Parent Tata Motors’ New SUVs

Payback time?

by on Aug.25, 2014

Reports suggest that this Land Rover Discovery concept may be the basis for five- and seven-passenger vehicles from Indian automaker Tata.

After long maintaining a strict wall between their engineering and design departments, British maker Jaguar Land Rover may finally be ready to work more closely with its Indian parent Tata Motors.

A report from India indicates two new SUVs planned by Tata will ride on a platform shared with Land Rover. The vehicles are also expected to offer a new line of powertrains developed by the Jaguar Land Rover group that will be used in such future British models as the Jaguar XE sedan and Land Rover Discovery.

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Rumors of such a project have been circulating for months on outlets as diverse as the Economic Times, Autoblog and The latest to pick up – and add some significant details – is Indian website Live Mint. It reports that Tata will use Land Rover’s platform for both five- and seven-passenger SUV models. (more…)

Tata Managing Director Slym Found Dead in Thailand

Former GM, Toyota exec’s death investigated as suicide.

by on Jan.28, 2014

Police in Bangkok, Thailand, are investigating the death of Tata Motors Managing Director Karl Slym.

The death of Tata Motors’ Managing Director Karl Slym in Bangkok, Thailand, is being investigated as a potential suicide. Slym’s body was found Sunday morning at his hotel.

Slym, 51, joined Tata in October 2012 to help revamp the company’s product portfolio. Prior to that, Slym held leadership positions at General Motors in China and India as well as at Toyota in the United Kingdom.

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According to reports, Slym was facing some difficulties, including marital issues. During the investigation, police found a three-page note, which was initially thought to be a suicide note, in the couple’s hotel room. His wife wrote the letter. Apparently, the pair had been arguing about a family matter and she wrote the note detailing her concerns because she felt she could no longer talk to him about the undisclosed matter. (more…)

Tata Bringing World’s Cheapest Car to US Market

But will Americans say no-no to Nano?

by on Oct.15, 2012

Can Tata Make a Nano that Americans would take seriously? It apparently wants to try.

Americans will soon get the chance to buy what is generally considered the world’s most inexpensive automobile.  But considering the safety problems experienced by the little Tata Nano – which has received only a mixed reception in its home Indian market – it’s anyone’s guess whether U.S.  motorists will say yes or no-no to the microcar.

The Nano is the work of Tata, one of India’s biggest industrial conglomerates and parent to a carmaking division with aggressive global aspirations.  Along with the homegrown Tata brand it also owns both the British Jaguar and Land Rover marques.

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There’s no confusing their products, however.  The original Tata Nano is a step up from a motor scooter, with only the most minimal creature comforts and a severe lacking of safety features, as well, according to critics.


2013 Range Rover Makes Official Debut

A lightweight that carries plenty of heft.

by on Sep.06, 2012

The latest in the Range Rover series -- which was first introduced in 1970.

Land Rover isn’t dancing around the facts when it describes the new 2013 Range Rover as the most important product it will be bringing out over the next few years.  Though sales may be dwarfed by the wildly successful new Evoque, the Range Rover that debuted today at London’s Royal Ballet School is the model that sets the standard for the British marque.

And by radically slashing the weight of the new model, Land Rover shows it can bring the classic SUV into a new era where mass and mileage become increasingly critical.

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“The new Range Rover preserves the essential, unique character of the vehicle – that special blend of luxury, performance and unmatched all-terrain capability,” said John Edwards, Land Rover’s Global Brand Director. “However, its clean sheet design and revolutionary lightweight construction have enabled us to transform the experience for luxury vehicle customers, with a step change in comfort, refinement and handling.”


Forster Unexpectedly Quits at Tata

Uncertain impact on plans for Jaguar and Land Rover.

by on Sep.12, 2011

Former Tata Motors chief Carl-Peter Forster.

Carl-Peter Forster has resigned as chief executive officer and managing director of Tata Motors, citing a serious illness in his immediate family. He will remain a non-executive director of Tata, the ambitious Indian automaker that purchased Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motor Co. two years ago.

Forster had joined Tata in February, 2010 after a long career with General Motors that ended in 2009 when he supported the sale of majority control of GM’s Opel subsidiary to a consortium of Russian Banks allied with Canadian automotive supplier Magna International Inc.  The deal was scrubbed after a series of executive changes at GM,notably including the ouster of CEO Fritz Henderson who, like Forster, had supported the sale.

“The board respects Carl-Peter’s personal circumstances that led to this move,” Tata Chairman Ratan Tata said following Forster’s resignation. “We would like to thank him for his contributions to the successful development of our company.”

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Tata is the largest of the domestic Indian automakers and arguably the most ambitious.  The Tata brand name is perhaps best known for its Nano model, the world’s cheapest automobile.  But Tata has struggled to expand out of its home market and has been counting on its two British brands to help it become a truly global player in the competitive automotive industry.  But things are clearly not going as well as Tata hoped.


First Look: Tata Pixel Urban Concept Car

This car really does rotate on a dime.

by on Mar.03, 2011

Based on the Nano, the Tata Pixel measures just 10 feet in length and can turn on its own axis thanks to a unique rear wheel design.

Things don’t always go the way they’re planned during auto show previews, as Indian mega-industrialist Ratan Tata discovered during the news conference held by his eponymous Tata Motors at the Geneva Motor Show.

Tata came to the event to watch the debut of his company’s Pixel show car, which it bills as a “concept for a European city car.”  Things went perfectly well until it was time to open the electrically-operated scissor doors.  Suddenly things shorted out in the electronic control panel hidden under the rear hatch, sending nervous technicians scurrying to do a quick re-wiring.

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The brief setback didn’t chase the crowds away, however.  If anything, Tata has gotten plenty of attention since launching the world’s cheapest – and one of the smallest – automobiles, a few years back.  And while the Nano is very much “a car for India,” the Pixel “is a car for the world,” asserted Carl-Peter Forster, the former Opel chief who now runs Tata Motors.

As is immediately obvious, the Nano serves as the starting point for the new Tata Pixel, though it has clearly been refined to meet Western sensibilities.  But size still matters.

Even with the front seats in a normal position, the Tata Pixel offers surprising interior space.

Though only 10 feet, nose-to-tail, the Pixel fits four adults in reasonable comfort thanks to a flexible interior design and a tall roof that allows for upright seating.

Even more intriguing than the swing-up doors, the little coupe uses a system in which the rear wheels rotate in opposite directions, allowing the Pixel to turn on its own axis when parking.

Assisting is something the Indian maker describes as a Zero Turn turoidal traction-drive Infinitely Variable Transmission.

A technician struggles to fix the controls for the Pixel's malfunctioning scissor doors.

The Tata Pixel’s 1.2-liter 3-cylinder turbodiesel gets a stop/start system to eliminate wasteful idling.  That helps it achieve an estimated 60 mpg, according to the maker.

While the stop/start technology is the most likely system to actually make the jump from the concept stage, Forster told that a production version of the Nano-based Pixel “is do-able.”

How long?  It would likely take two to three years, the German executive said as he watched with relief when the electric doors finally began to swing open.

Driving Tata Nano: Will Americans Accept Its Limitations?

Indian price of $2,500 would likely more than double here.

by on Aug.11, 2010

The relatively luxurious Tata Nano LX.

The little four-seater proves reasonably adept as we pull away from the Grand Traverse Resort.  It’s not registered for U.S. roads, so we have to stick to the sprawling complex’s service roads, but they’re long and quick enough to give us a sense of what to expect from one of the most well-publicized cars in the world.

The Tata Nano is not only the cheapest car on the road, but also one of the smallest.  At 122 inches, nose-to-tail, it’s barely a foot longer than the Smart fortwo – even with its two back seats.  And, at just 1,500 pounds, it weighs about 300 pounds less than the Franco-German Smart.

That helps the little Nano make do with a miniscule 624-cc (0.6 liter) two-cylinder engine making 35 horsepower.  Whether it can take the fortwo in a drag race is uncertain, though the Nano certainly won’t leave a patch of rubber.  But rated at 56 mpg – with a 4-gallon gas tank giving it a theoretical range of 224 miles – one might forgive its less-than-stellar performance. (more…)

Is There A “Baby” Jaguar In The Works?

Luxury maker mum on X-Type replacement, “reports” abound.

by on Jul.22, 2010

Is Jaguar readying a replacement for the largely unloved X-Type?

It was, for a time, the best-selling Jaguar ever, but when the British marque decided to abandon the small sedan, few wept at the departure of a model that had seldom received favorable reviews.  Yet the question remains whether any luxury brand with even modest mainstream aspirations can survive without an offering in the compact segment – and there are growing indications that a new “Baby” Jag just might be headed for production.

The original X-Type suffered from the fact that it was a compromise design, sharing much of its underlying platform and componentry with the Mondeo, the mid-market compact produced by Jaguar’s former parent, Ford Motor Co.  Now that the British maker – and its sibling Land Rover – are owned by India’s Tata Motors, a future Baby Jaguar would almost certainly feature an entirely unique platform, or a heavily modified version of the chassis used by the larger and more expensive Jaguar XF.

The British maker has confirmed that it plans to increase its line-up in a bid to boost what are admittedly marginal sales.  The all-new 2011 XJ marks the start of that campaign, but despite its hefty price tag, a luxury maker can rarely survive solely on large premium models.  In today’s highline market, mid- and compact products are the high-demand offerings, the BMW 3-Series proving the point.


A compact sports car, smaller than the current XK, is under development, Jaguar officials confirm.  But beyond that, the maker is being unusually cagey about future products.  In an interview with earlier this year, Jaguar’s managing director Mike O’Driscoll said there were no plans for a new Baby sedan, though his carefully worded comments didn’t rule out the possibility of changes to that strategy.

And since the hiring of former Opel boss Carl-Peter Forster as Tata’s chief executive, insiders say many changes are, indeed, being made.