It’s been about three years since Tata bought Jaguar and Land Rover from one of America’s big top three - Ford - and now the company is thinking of taking the last few necessary steps to completely cut ties with the former owner. A new Tata annual report has been released stating that the company is considering a joint engine-development program with its Jaguar Land Rover unit. If pushed through, the new engine could cement the two brands’ independence from Ford.
"To optimize the synergistic strengths between JLR and Tata Motors in India, an examination is also under way on a joint engine development program which would have manufacturing facilities both in the U.K. and India," Ratan Tata said in a recent interview.
These new engines will be a big step for the Indian company, who are beginning to pick up speed with models like the Range Rover Evoque and the new Jaguar XK and XF . Our concern will be for future models which will need adequate engines to obtain proper performance numbers matching that of the Ford-built engines. Whether or not Tata has the ability to pull something like this off is still up in the air.
On any other motor show, their cute little concept vehicle called the ’Pixel’ would have gathered its fair share of attention. Unfortunately, it’s the Geneva Motor Show, where every automaker and their mother are all looking to put their best feet forward in all their attempts to showcase their latest rides.
So the Pixel has gone on largely unnoticed. So we’re here to show some love to our buddies over at India and give the Pixel its just do.
For starters, the Pixel Concept has got a few features that will surely endear Tata to futuristic city-car lovers, including the set of scissor doors that opens all the way up to save external ergonomic space. It also has a new transmission called the "Zero Turn toroidal traction-drive Infinitely Variable Transmission" (IVT). What it does, apart from all the standard items on its list, is rotate one rear wheel forward and the other backward that when combined with acute angles on the front wheels, allowing the car to have a turning circle of just 8.5 feet.
As for the engine, there’s nothing exciting about. It’s a 1.2-liter turbocharged diesel engine that carries an estimated fuel consumption of a pretty efficient 69 miles per gallon.
Say what you want about Tata and the Nano, but you have to give the Indian automaker some credit for thinking way out of the box with their Pixel Concept.
It’s cute, charming, and stylish - three qualities that you can’t say about the Nano.
Although you’ve probably never heard of the Tata Safari, it’s a pretty big seller in other parts of the world. For 2011, there is a new model, although it still appears to be stuck in 1999. It will go on sale in India in the early part of 2011, followed by Europe later in the year.
The new model will pick up where the old one left off, but with more technical updates, a new design, and more attention to fit and finish. This means that the price will rise, but Tata is debating on continuing the production of the previous model, as a low cost variant. Hard to imagine BMW doing that with one of their models isn’t it?
The 2011 Tata Safari SUV will be based on its sibling Aria’s platform which will make the car more rigid and a better handler. The new model will also have lots of space and will be loaded with features such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a silver finish on the center console, Climate Control, and much more.
Tata will also use some of the technical know how from Jaguar Land Rover on the new Safari to help sales in Europe. The motor should be 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel with 140 horsepower.
Tata Motors may have a slew of SUVs on its portfolio, not to mention owning Land Rover , but the Indian-based automaker is finally ready to dive into the crossover market with the launch of the Aria.
The crossover is powered by a 2.2-liter diesel engine that produces around 140 horsepower. It also comes with a number of features including traction control, ABS, ESP, six air bags, and a higher ride height that makes it look more like an SUV than what’s classified as a crossover.
The Aria’s interior is also chalk-full of high-end features including power mirrors, rain sensing wipers, a GPS nav-sat system, automatic climate control, height adjustable seats, glove box chiller, and Bluetooth. The features seem fitting for a vehicle Tata describes as a “luxurious creation with the finesse of a sedan and the muscle of an SUV all blended in one car.”
Tata has yet to release pricing and availability of the Aria crossover, but according to the brand, the car will most likely be sold in India exclusively.
Tata Motors Ltd., the owner of Jaguar Land Rover , came away with a nice chunk of change in the first quarter of the automotive fiscal year. Not to mention a healthy climb for its stock.
The company posted a $430 million profit, which helped the stock climb 5.6 percent to a 19-year high, according to Bloomberg. That is nearly twice the amount of profit that analysts – and we use that term loosely – predicted. Sales for the company increased by 64 percent to $5.8 billion.
Jaguar Land Rover played a big role in all this, posting a $370 million profit during the first quarter. Sales increased from 35,947 to 57,153. That sales jump can easily be attributed to their fantastic new cars, including the XF and the XJ.
Tata was even successful with their own car and truck division, as it saw a 48 percent increase to a total of 181,708 vehicles sold, which included 14,779 Nano cars. That growth can be attributed to the strength of India’s economy.
For $2,000 a pop, the Tata Nano city car is about as affordable as any production car you can find on the planet. And given its relatively cheap price tag, nobody will ever mistake the Nano for one of the fastest and sturdiest cars out there.
These days, the Nano has been on-fire in the news lately, and we mean that literally. After three separate incidents were reported last year of a Nano going up in flames, we now bring you episode number four.
According to an Indian news report, this Nano inexplicably burst into flames for no apparent reason. The owner of the car, insurance agent Satish Sawant and his chauffeur – don’t ask us why a Nano needs a chauffer – escaped the incident without any injuries, although they were as dumbfounded as the rest of us as to how the Nano – a car that was only recently purchased – caught fire just like that.
Much like its Italian counterpart Fiat , Tata seems to be going against the trend these days by purchasing as many car brands as it can possibly acquire. After having bought Jaguar and Land Rover, the Indian-based manufacturer is already lining up a package to purchase Pininfarina .
The Italian coachbuilder’s parent company, Pincar, recently put its 50.7% stake in the company out on the market and has even hired a bank to field prospective buyers. It seems like an odd pairing but that’s also what everybody said when word spread about Tata’s intent to purchase two luxury British brands in Jaguar and Land Rover – and we all know how that turned out.
Besides, it’s not like Tata and Pininfarina have no history together. If you might recall, the coachbuilders from the land of pizza were the ones who designed the Prima, Tata ’s concept car, which appeared at the Geneva Motor Show a few months ago. If Tata does end up purchasing Pininfarina, it only shows that the Indian car makers are poised to become – if they’re not already – serious players in the auto industry for many years to come.
It wasn’t that long ago when Tata Motors raised a lot of eyebrows when it purchased Jaguar and Land Rover , two struggling brands that were in bad need of resuscitation. For a while, it seemed like the purchase was going to backfire on the folks from India. It certainly didn’t help when the two British brands reported losses in excess of $1 billion last year while Tata also dealing with losses of over half a billion by themselves.
But now, thanks in part to the strong showing of the Jaguar XF and XJ series and recent news that Land Rover is set to increase production due to forecasts of strong demand for its Discover and Range Rover Sport SUVs, it’s looking like Tata is beginning to show everyone precisely why they bought these two brands in the first place.
Tata Motors finally launched its two newest brands, Jaguar and Land Rover, in India despite growing concerns of plunging sales and looming threats of job insecurity and factory closures dampening what should have been a momentous occasion for the Indian automaker.
Tata acquired the two luxury brands from Ford in March 2008 to the tune of $2.3 billion and while it was a monumental acquisition at the time, the continued struggles of Jaguar and Land Rover has sapped some of Tata’s good fortune. Ever since Tata acquired the two brands, the company has lost over $504 million, marking the first time since 2001 that Tata has reported an annual loss on their bottom line.
We don’t blame Tata for this acquisition. After all, adding two luxury brands to your company roster is a deal that you’d be ill-advised to pass up. Unfortunately, they just did it at the wrong time – soon after they made the purchase, the global economy collapsed. Talk about bad timing.
Tata Motors Ltd.’s purchase of Jaguar and Land Rover caught the auto industry by surprise. As far as the water cooler talk surrounding the purchase was considered, a familiar question was repeatedly asked: How can a truck-maker from India end up buying two of the most luxurious brands in the world today?
Now, it seems that the purchase has come back and turned the tables on the Indian truck giant.
For the first time in seven years, Tata has posted a consolidated net loss of over 25 billion rupees ($520 million) from the period of April 2008 up to March 2009. This, of course, is a stark contrast from Tata’s performance a year ago when it made a net income of 22 billion rupees.
The culprits for this unfortunate about-face in company fortunes lies in the plummeting sales of the industry’s luxury car segment as to which both Jaguar and Land Rover are staples. For one, Land Rover sales fell to 120,000 after selling a little under 200,000 units the year before. Similarly, the sale of Jaguar vehicles met a similar fate, falling to 47,000 units from 50,000 the previous year.