Tata Motors was established in 1945 as Tata Engineering and Locomotive Co. Ltd. to manufacture locomotives and other engineering products. It is India's largest automobile company, with standalone revenues of Rs. 25,660.79 crores (USD 5.5 billion) in 2008–09. It is the leader in commercial vehicles in each segment, and among the top three in passenger vehicles with winning products in the compact, midsize car and utility vehicle segments. The company is the world's fourth largest truck manufacturer, and the world's second largest bus manufacturer.
The company's 23,000 employees are guided by the vision to be 'best in the manner in which they operate best in the products they deliver and best in their value system and ethics.'
Tata Motors' presence indeed cuts across the length and breadth of India. Over 4 million Tata vehicles ply on Indian roads, since the first rolled out in 1954. The company's manufacturing base in India is spread across Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), Pune (Maharashtra), Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), Pantnagar (Uttarakhand) and Dharwad (Karnataka). Following a strategic alliance with Fiat in 2005, it has set up an industrial joint venture with Fiat Group Automobiles at Ranjangaon (Maharashtra) to produce both Fiat and Tata cars and Fiat powertrains. The company is establishing a new plant at Sanand (Gujarat). The company's dealership, sales, services and spare parts network comprises over 3500 touch points; Tata Motors also distributes and markets Fiat branded cars in India.
In January 2008, Tata Motors unveiled its People's Car, the Tata Nano, which India and the world have been looking forward to. The Tata Nano has been subsequently launched, as planned, in India in March 2009. A development, which signifies a first for the global automobile industry, the Nano brings the comfort and safety of a car within the reach of thousands of families. The standard version has been priced at Rs.100, 000 (excluding VAT and transportation cost).
Designed with a family in mind, it has a roomy passenger compartment with generous leg space and head room. It can comfortably seat four persons. Its mono–volume design will set a new benchmark among small cars. Its safety performance exceeds regulatory requirements in India. Its tailpipe emission performance too exceeds regulatory requirements. In terms of overall pollutants, it has a lower pollution level than two–wheelers being manufactured in India today. The lean design strategy has helped minimise weight, which helps maximise performance per unit of energy consumed and delivers high fuel efficiency. The high fuel efficiency also ensures that the car has low carbon dioxide emissions, thereby providing the twin benefits of an affordable transportation solution with a low carbon footprint.
In May 2009, Tata Motors ushered in a new era in the Indian automobile industry, in keeping with its pioneering tradition, by unveiling its new range of world standard trucks. In their power, speed, carrying capacity, operating economy and trims, they will introduce new benchmarks in India and match the best in the world in performance at a lower life–cycle cost.
The years to come will see the introduction of several other innovative vehicles, all rooted in emerging customer needs. Besides product development, R&D is also focussing on environment–friendly technologies in emissions and alternative fuels.