Tata’s plans in India
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.
Tata Pixel, a concept car shown in 2011, shows where Tata Motors is heading.