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Tata Motors will bounce back with new products, believes chairman Cyrus Mistry

Saturday, 5 July 2014 - 7:10am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Cyrus Mistry, chairman of Tata Motors, said the company is working on a strong pipeline of products in order to stay competitive and profitable in the future.

"Tata Motors is working on a strong pipeline of new products and technologies keeping in view the changing market, customers' aspirations and regulatory needs," he said in the annual report for 2013-14.
Mistry indicated that the industry is expected to witness a turnaround in the second half of the year, after facing a slowdown for more than a year.

"The company is at an inflexion point with its entire product portfolio being revamped with relevant and exciting products for our target customers. Initiatives on cost-erosion and customer experience are being pursued with great rigour to help transform the organisation into a more competitive and profitable business in the coming years," he said.

Despite strong performance of company's British subsidiary, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the domestic operations of the biggest automobile manufacturer in India remained under pressure due to slowdown and lack of new product launches.

Though the company retained its leadership position in the commercial vehicle (CV) segment, it lost out in passenger vehicles (PV).

The company's domestic PV sales were lower by 38.1% at 141,846 vehicles, registering a 5.8% market share in fiscal 2014, down from 9% in the previous year. The company sold 109,279 cars and 32,567 utility vehicles and vans, lower by 39.5% and 33.3% respectively, over the previous year.

In the CV segment too, the company lost its market share to 54.1% in fiscal 2014 as compared with 59.6% in the previous year. Its market share in the light commercial vehicle (LCV) category dropped to 53.7% from 62.2%, while it gained share in the medium and heavy commercial vehicles to 54.9% from 53.3%.

Mistry lauded the performance of JLR, which continued its strong performance in the last fiscal.

"For luxury cars, it was a record breaking year with most of the manufacturers posting their highest ever sales. JLR reaffirmed our confidence in the premium car market and rewarded us by harnessing the opportunities created by rising demand for high-performance luxury cars across the world."

"With its extra-ordinary line-up of new exciting products, JLR posted record sales of 434,311 units. The resolve, commitment and creativity of passionate designers and engineers in JLR is indeed praise-worthy," he said.

The report highlighted company's plans of targeting new regions/geographies, in order to de-risk business from any volatility. The company said that it is looking to penetrate deeper in the rural region with overall gap of automobile purchase between rural and urban areas is narrowing in India. Further, the company expects larger revenues coming from non-vehicular products and services like spares, after sales, annual maintenance contracts, etc.

"These are also gaining popularity in demand. The company is poised to address this growing need, thereby providing additional sources of revenue, which are non-cyclical in nature, to hedge for otherwise cyclical demand in the auto industry," Tata Motors said.

The company is also focusing on increasing its global presence, as an effective hedge against domestic downturn as well as a growth opportunity. While the company is already present in Africa and some parts of Asean, it is focusing on increasing presence in more key markets in Asean and Latin America.

"The company is also actively considering expanding its global manufacturing footprint in key international markets to take advantage of import duty differentials and local sourcing benefits," it said.

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