Formerly known as Telco (TATA Engineering and Locomotive Company), Tata Motors has a consolidated revenue of USD 16 billion after the acquisition of British automotive brands Jaguar and Land Rover in 2008. The company was established in 1935 as a locomotive manufacturing unit and later expanded its operations to commercial vehicle sector in 1954 after forming a joint venture with Daimler-Benz AG of Germany. Currently headed by the chairman, Mr. Ratan Tata, Tata Motors claimed its success in the building commercial vehicles. Despite the success of its commercial vehicles, Tata realized his company had to diversify and he began to look at other products. Based on consumer demand, he decided that building a small car would be the most practical new venture. So in 1998 it launched Tata Indica, India''s first fully indigenous passenger car. Though the Indica did not do so well, the V2 version of the car won accolades for its design and the kind of engine used.
The Indica was an instant hit and soon the company was exporting the its car to Europe, especially the UK and Italy. In 2004 the company acquired Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicle, and in late 2005 it acquired 21% of Aragonese Hispano Carrocera giving it controlling rights of the company. The company''s manufacturing base in India is spread across Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), Pune (Maharashtra), Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), Pantnagar (Uttarakhand) and Dharwad (Karnataka). Tata Motors set up an alliance with Fiat in 2005. The alliance brough about an industrial joint venture with Fiat Group Automobiles at Ranjangaon (Maharashtra) to produce both Fiat and Tata cars and Fiat powertrains. The company is establishing a new plant at Sanand (Gujarat).
Beside India, in 2006, Tata Motors formed a joint venture with the Brazil-based Marcopolo, a global leader in body-building for buses and coaches to manufacture fully-built buses and coaches for India and select international markets. In 2006, Tata Motors entered into joint venture with Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Company of Thailand to manufacture and market the company''s pickup vehicles in Thailand. The new plant of Tata Motors (Thailand) has begun production of the Xenon pickup truck. The Xenon pick up truck was launched in 2008. The company''s commercial and passenger vehicles are already being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia, South Asia and South America. It also conducts its operations in Kenya, Bangladesh, Ukraine, Russia, Senegal and South Africa. The company today has R&D centres in Pune, Jamshedpur, Lucknow, Dharwad in India, and in South Korea, Spain, and the UK.
The Nano was the latest addition to the small/cheap car segment. Notably known as the cheapest car in the world, the Nano won hearts all over India. The one lakh car has already started making waves throughout the country and is becoming one popular vehicle throughout the world.