Ratan Tata speaks about JLR, Freelander, Tata Motors, Tata Nano, and Indian car market

With the focus being on emerging markets in respect to driving growth, growth rates for the financial year 2012 would be lower resulting from high inflationary pressures. Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Group had this to say in reference to high inflationary pressures. “The resulting high interest rates, tighter credit regimes and higher fuel costs will dampen consumer demand for a range of consumer products including automobiles. The quarterly growth figures in Asia have been declining during the year and it is expected that both China and India will register lower growth rates in 2011-12. Automobile sales have already started to decline in India. There has also been a decline in automobile sales in China for the first time in two years,” said.

Irrespective of the dismal forecast, world economy in 2012 would depend on the financial situation in Asia. Tata Motors is at present considering joint engine development with Jaguar & Land Rover, apart from an Indian engine facility. The company is also looking at considering feasibility of an assembly unit for JLR in China. Keeping in mind the Asian market, Tata Motors plans to not just assemble the Freelander in India, but a wider product range while it has more cars lined up for the Chinese market.

Ratan Tata in reference to performance in the 2010-11 fiscal year said the period was a record year for passenger, and commercial vehicles. He confirmed that pressure on protecting Tata Motors market share in India was rising. Keeping in mind that 60% of revenues are being generated by JLR, pressure on Tata Motors in India is building. In the Indian auto market, Tata Motors truck sales have been healthy while market share for passenger cars dropped by more than 3%.

As is known, the Tata Nano isn’t bringing in volumes as had been anticipated. Amidst new developments, Mr Ratan Tata hopes the macro-economic environ takes a turn for the better. He confirmed that JLR and Tata Motors have comprehensive product development plans for commercial, and off-road vehicles, as well as, cars powered by alternative and regular fuels. Plans cover electric and hybrid vehicles that conform to future low emission and fuel efficiency norms.