Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How Do You Like My Bodacious Tatas?

I guess nothing is sacred anymore. I have despised Ford Motor Company ever since it made the decision not to recall the exploding Pintos because it was cheaper to pay awards in wrongful-death lawsuits. I was very disappointed to see the results of Ford's buying spree of luxury nameplates; Ford presently owns Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo. But now, Ford will sell the first two to India's Tata Group, although this will be more of a partnership than a complete sale.

Tata is probably going to be the world's largest car manufacturer. It is actually a very large operation:

The Tata Group is one of India's oldest, largest and most respected business conglomerates. The Group's businesses are spread over seven business sectors. It comprises 98 companies and operates in six continents. It employs some 2,89,500 people and collectively has a shareholder base of over 2.9 million and market capitalisation of $66.9 billion as on February 21, 2008.

While the British (automotive) Crown Jewels are certainly a nice acquisition, Tata's greatest achievement is probably going to be the introduction of the Nano, a US$2500 "people's car":

There is a much larger draw for a US$2,500 mini-car than a US$75,000 luxury SUV. Nothing like covering both ends of the market.

I'm still stuck on Japanese quality, having been very pleased with my Lexuses and Toyotas for the past 20+ years. It will be interesting to see what Tata does with its new toys. So, if anyone out there wants to keep us updated on this topic, please feel free to send in photos of your bodacious Tatas. Thank you.

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