Earlier this week Tata Motors of India completed its acquisition of Ford’s Jaguar and Land Rover brands. One of my coworkers is the proud owner of a Range Rover Sport, and we’ve had a little fun at his expense. Greeting him in the morning by asking him "how’s your Tata?", thinking we hear some strange music coming out of his stereo, and even sensing the delectable aromas of samosas and garlic naan wafting across the parking lot. Almost as much fun as we had twenty years ago when my boss bought a new Jaguar and we delighted in tossing a few oily nuts in his reserved parking spot each day, creating a panic of perceived upcoming maintenance every time he noticed.
His response was "isn’t Tata just a little holding company?" Uh, no. And perhaps the rest of us need to spend some time educating ourselves on the company. Basically it’s analogous to the same delusion most people had in the 70s when they said "Isn’t Toyota just a cheap Japanese car company?" As usual we were a little ahead of our time, and way back in September of 2005 we told you about Tata. Tata Group is a very large conglomerate doing just about everything… steel, utilities, and of course cars. 98 companies, sales over $55 billion, and over 289,000 employees. Pretty large, even by global standards.
Tata Motors is a $7 billion subsidiary with 22,000 employees, and it exports to basically every part of the world except the United States. For now. They have a wide range of vehicles, but let’s take a look at some of the products in their passenger car segment:
First there’s the Indica, a very small sedan.
Then there’s the Indigo, a mid-size sedan.
And the Safari, a small SUV.
And every car company used to need a large SUV, in Tata’s case the Sumo.
But since Sumo-esque vehicles are now just a tad costly to drive, Tata has come out with the other end of the spectrum, the Nano. No, not co-developed by Apple.
And now they get to add several more to their stable, under the brands of Jaguar and Land Rover. I wonder if they’ll also soon be available in shades of brown and orange!
And now you know your Tata’s. Coming soon (the rumor is 2010) to a dealer near you. Laughing? Remember Toyota…