Tata’s plans in In­dia

The Witness - Wheels - - INDUSTRY -

NEW DELHI — In­dia’s Tata Mo­tors is over­haul­ing its do­mes­tic sup­ply chain, prod­uct port­fo­lio and or­gan­i­sa­tional struc­ture as part of a three­year turn­around strat­egy, the com­pany’s chief ex­ec­u­tive said last week.

The aim is to put Tata Mo­tors among the top three car brands in In­dia by the end of March 2019, Guenter Butschek told re­porters, up from fifth in its last fis­cal year.

The au­tomaker is ra­tio­nal­is­ing the num­ber of sup­pli­ers and will elim­i­nate those that do not meet its stan­dards on qual­ity, cost and timely de­liv­ery, Butschek said in New Delhi. Tata Mo­tors is mak­ing changes within the com­pany as well by in­creas­ing ac­count­abil­ity among em­ploy­ees, fo­cus­ing on timely ex­e­cu­tion of de­ci­sions and en­cour­ag­ing more team work and com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

“We have a very ro­bust plan on how we take the com­pany into the fu­ture,” said Butschek, a for­mer Air­bus Group ex­ec­u­tive brought in by Tata Mo­tors in Jan­uary to plug fall­ing sales in In­dia.

Prof­its at Tata Mo­tors have for years been propped up by its Bri­tish lux­ury unit Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) while its do­mes­tic op­er­a­tions suf­fered be­cause of a slow­ing econ­omy, which hit de­mand for its trucks, and as cus­tomers pre­ferred other car brands.

Truck sales are slowly re­cov­er­ing as the econ­omy re­vives, and Tata Mo­tors’ In­dian busi­ness turned a profit in the last fis­cal year, which ended on March 31. Butschek does not over­see JLR’s op­er­a­tions.

Tata Mo­tors’ pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle sales fell eight per­cent in an In­dian mar­ket that grew seven per­cent in the fis­cal year to end-March, and is dom­i­nated by com­pa­nies such as Maruti Suzuki In­dia Ltd and Hyundai Mo­tor Co.

It re­cov­ered dur­ing the first four months of the cur­rent fis­cal year with sales in In­dia ris­ing five per­cent but still lags the nine per­cent over­all growth in pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle sales, in­dus­try data showed.

To bol­ster its fu­ture prod­uct port­fo­lio, Butschek said Tata will phase out mod­els that are not per­form­ing well, like the Nano, while the group will launch prod­ucts with new tech­nolo­gies and a fo­cus on safety, low emis­sions and fuel econ­omy. The com­pany will also re­duce the num­ber of plat­forms — the ar­chi­tec­ture on which it builds cars — and fol­low a mo­du­lar ap­proach where it can build sev­eral ve­hi­cles on the same plat­form us­ing more com­mon parts to achieve economies of scale.

PHOTO: TATA

Tata Pixel, a con­cept car shown in 2011, shows where Tata Mo­tors is head­ing.

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