Tata Motors Limited is India’s largest automobile company, with consolidated revenues of Rs 2, 32,834 crores (USD 38.9 billion) in 2013-14. It is the leader in commercial vehicles in each segment, and among the top in passenger vehicles with winning products in the compact, midsize car and utility vehicle segments. It is also the world's fifth largest truck manufacturer and fourth largest bus manufacturer.
Formerly known as Telco (TATA Engineering and Locomotive Company), 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. Cyrus Mistry, Tata Motors claimed its success in the building commercial vehicles. Despite the success of its commercial vehicles, Mr Ratan Tata the then Chairman realised 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 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 only to be cancelled in the next few years. The alliance brought about an industrial joint venture with Fiat Group Automobiles at Ranjangaon (Maharashtra) to produce both Fiat and Tata cars’ powertrains. Tata’s dream project, the Nano had some difficulties taking off as it had to be shifted from Singur in West Bengal to Sanand in 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 pick-up vehicles in Thailand. The new plant of Tata Motors (Thailand) has begun production of the Xenon pick-up 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, and Dharwad in India, and in South Korea, Spain, and the UK. Tata Motors bought Jaguar and Land Rover in 2008, only to turn its entire business very profitable.
In January 2008, Tata Motors unveiled its People’s Car, the Tata Nano. The Tata Nano was subsequently launched in India in March 2009, and in 2011 in Nepal and Sri Lanka. A development, which signifies a first for the global automobile industry, the Nano brings the joy of a car within the reach of thousands of families. However, the car failed to meet the company’s sales expectation.
Tata Motors is also focused on environment-friendly technologies in emissions and alternative fuels. It has developed electric and hybrid vehicles both for personal and public transportation. It has also been implementing several environment-friendly technologies in manufacturing processes, significantly enhancing resource conservation.