In order to revive domestic operations as well as sales momentum relating to the small car Nano, Tata Motors is planning to improve the vehicle’s perceived value as much more than just a poor man’s car, said group chairman Cyrus Mistry.
Addressing the company shareholders for the first time at the 68th annual general meeting, Mistry said, “We will be introducing power steering in the Nano. We are also working on better fuel efficiency for the car and better interiors and exteriors. We are now focused on adding more features and making it a more ‘city car’.”
The Tata group, he said, will increase its overall investments in Tata Motors in the next fiscal. Tata Motors will increase its own investments as well. This fiscal, it is investing Rs3,000 crore in its domestic operations and $2.7 billion (Rs27,127 crore) in its British subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).
Yet, shareholders expressed concerns about the company’s domestic operations that continue to make losses.
Excluding the dividend received from JLR, Tata Motors posted a standalone loss of Rs834 crore for the April-June quarter.
Given the current dismal market situation, Mistry cautioned that this fiscal will continue to remain challenging, especially for domestic operations. Mistry told a shareholder that the company’s current capacity utilisation is at 48%, including trucks and passenger vehicles.
Tata Motors has an installed capacity of 16 lakh vehicles per annum; but, so far, it produced only 7.73 lakh vehicles.
Mistry, however, said various measures are on to place the company’s products competitively in the domestic market.
He said Tata Motors is working on repositioning its existing utility vehicles, including the Grande and the Aria, and upgrading and expanding its network in order to boost sales.
Mistry said that there are no plans of listing JLR, and that it is working on a small car to compete with Mercedes and BMW in the entry-level luxury car space.