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Old 3rd September 2011, 15:29   #1
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Default TATA needs exports/ should use the Rover brand

With VW, Peugeot and co building/ preparing to build cars in India, TATA needs to begin looking for exports and really needs to look at building cars for wealth western markets. Otherwise TATA could become a footnote in automotive history.

It seems to me that TATA has always struggled to see how it can successful sell a Mondeo/ focus sized car in India and yet this is the kind of car that TATA needs to sell in international markets.

In my view TATA should work on a new range of cars designed primarily for Europe and America. From one floorpan they should build the following:

- A Mondeo sized car (Saloon/ Estate)
- A Focus sized car (hatchback)
- A large MPV
- A SWB MPV

By sharing components costs could be minimised. To get the cars into as many dealers as possible in the West the JLR dealer chain could be used, but only if the Rover brand is used.

In India and in countries where there is a strong TATA presence then it may make sense to use the TATA brand.

TATA needs to sell cars abroad and it needs to establish itself quickly before the rest of the world take on TATA on it's home turf. The JLR dealers and the Rover brand offer TATA a quick win. As long as the cars can match the likes of Honda for quality.
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Old 3rd September 2011, 16:24   #2
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Default Re: TATA needs exports/ should use the Rover brand

I seriously doubt the feasibility of such a thing, at least right now. Though you are right about what Tata needs to do, and I am sure Tata are thinking along the same lines.

But Tata should take their time, come up with a properly good design for a hatch and a saloon/estate, involving the expertise from JLR, TMETC and its home grown ERC.

It would be a mistake to rush into the European market with half baked products, and sell it under the Rover brand, which itself is not known for the best cars in the first place.

UK has already seen a Rover badged Tata before, and I dont think the present Indica Vista would do well. Its much better than the old gen Indica which was sold as the City Rover, but its still not ready.

They should be looking to enter European markets around 2015.

Design wise, only the Aria is good enough to be sold in Europe. And even that is still has a few steps to go QC wise.

As for dealers, I think it would be best to keep JLR and Tata cars separate, lest JLR is affected badly by any problems in Tata cars.

Right now if at all any export markets they can seriously target is middle east, South Africa and probably Eastern Europe.

Something properly bold would be to launch the present Vista and Manza in Eastern Europe and in a couple of years even setup an assembly plant out there. They could probably source engines from FIATs facilities in Europe.
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Old 3rd September 2011, 17:39   #3
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Default Re: TATA needs exports/ should use the Rover brand

Tata own the Land Rover brand, they do not own the Rover brand name
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Old 3rd September 2011, 17:56   #4
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Default Re: TATA needs exports/ should use the Rover brand

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Tata own the Land Rover brand, they do not own the Rover brand name
No, the JLR deal also included Rover, Daimler and Lanchester brands along with Jaguar and Land Rover.

After BMW sold off Rover Group to private consortium they operated under the name MG Rover group. The MG Rover Group did not get rights to the Rover brand name, but only used it under licence from BMW.

Rover brand name moved to the Jaguar Land Rover group when it moved from BMW to Ford, and now on to Tata Motors.

Almost all brands under erstwhile British Leyland are now either owned in India, under Tata Motors or in China under SAIC. Even Leyland truck brand now survives only in India. I think only the MINI brand continues under BMW. Overall though the Chinese seem to have got the worse out it all.
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Old 3rd September 2011, 18:37   #5
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Default Re: TATA needs exports/ should use the Rover brand

I was just wondering, could you find any data on how well the Tata Indica, Indigo, Indica Vista and Safari sell in Italy. Italy I think is probably the strongest European market as of now for Tata brand cars.

I was just checking, at present the Vista is listed at a price starting out at around 9000Euros, which would mean about 7500 to 8000 thousand pounds. The Safari comes in at around 20000 Pounds, and I think if and when the Aria makes it by extrapolation it will come in around 25000 pounds.

At these prices, do you think they are good enough??
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Old 4th September 2011, 00:13   #6
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Default Re: TATA needs exports/ should use the Rover brand

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
I was just wondering, could you find any data on how well the Tata Indica, Indigo, Indica Vista and Safari sell in Italy. Italy I think is probably the strongest European market as of now for Tata brand cars.

I was just checking, at present the Vista is listed at a price starting out at around 9000Euros, which would mean about 7500 to 8000 thousand pounds. The Safari comes in at around 20000 Pounds, and I think if and when the Aria makes it by extrapolation it will come in around 25000 pounds.

At these prices, do you think they are good enough??
The problem with TATA badged products is that they are considered about as good as Proton's. Which is pretty bad.

In Europe Rover was a good seller in the UK, Spain and Italy. So by linking Rover more closely to Land Rover it may be possible to revive the brand in the same way Skoda was revived by VW. The TATA brand has no dealers (and JLR wouldn't want the brand association) whilst Rover has enough association with Land Rover to make a relaunch viable.
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Old 4th September 2011, 01:02   #7
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Default Re: TATA needs exports/ should use the Rover brand

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The problem with TATA badged products is that they are considered about as good as Proton's. Which is pretty bad.

In Europe Rover was a good seller in the UK, Spain and Italy. So by linking Rover more closely to Land Rover it may be possible to revive the brand in the same way Skoda was revived by VW. The TATA brand has no dealers (and JLR wouldn't want the brand association) whilst Rover has enough association with Land Rover to make a relaunch viable.
Ford exercised its right to buy the Rover name when BMW tried to sell MG Rover to SAIC (MG they did). Ford then bundled it with Land Rover so that the Rover name wont get dragged through the mud again. Tata for sure could revive it as a separate brand but probably not in this economic climate. They still trying to revive Jaguar which is not doing all that well. VW just had to take one time tested platform (Golf) to revive Skoda. May be next gen TATA models would be good enough to be exported rebadged as Rovers.
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Old 4th September 2011, 01:11   #8
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Default Re: TATA needs exports/ should use the Rover brand

What they should ideally do is concentrate on improving the quality of their cars constantly, and once they've achieved a level of 'international-ness', that's when they should break into the international markets as a recognized and powerful brand in the reckoning.

At that point, whatever the brand name, it wouldn't really matter. As long as they've got a quality product on sale.
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Old 4th September 2011, 07:03   #9
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Default Re: TATA needs exports/ should use the Rover brand

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Originally Posted by Bimster View Post
Ford exercised its right to buy the Rover name when BMW tried to sell MG Rover to SAIC (MG they did). Ford then bundled it with Land Rover so that the Rover name wont get dragged through the mud again. Tata for sure could revive it as a separate brand but probably not in this economic climate. They still trying to revive Jaguar which is not doing all that well. VW just had to take one time tested platform (Golf) to revive Skoda. May be next gen TATA models would be good enough to be exported rebadged as Rovers.
BMW did not sell MG Rover to SAIC. BMW sold it to a private consortium, but did not sell the Rover brand. When MG Rover went bust, SAIC picked it up.

Ford bought out the the rest of BL, except for Mini, and then passed it on to Tata.

Also, Jaguar by itself is doing pretty well now actually. Its no longer trying to recover but has done so properly.
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Old 4th September 2011, 18:33   #10
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Default Re: TATA needs exports/ should use the Rover brand

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
BMW did not sell MG Rover to SAIC. BMW sold it to a private consortium, but did not sell the Rover brand. When MG Rover went bust, SAIC picked it up.

Ford bought out the the rest of BL, except for Mini, and then passed it on to Tata.

Also, Jaguar by itself is doing pretty well now actually. Its no longer trying to recover but has done so properly.
I should clarify
BMW was licensing the Rover name to a consortium that they sold MG name and the factories to in 2000 .They were building mostly Rover branded cars.That company went bust and Nanjing( now SAIC) picked up the assets. Nanjing tried to buy the Rover name from BMW in 2006 and BMW agreed for $11 million-more that the $10 they got in 2000. Ford blocked that attempt and exercised its right to buy the name -something it had retained when they bought Land Rover fom BMW in 2000. All a bit confusing.

Jaguar is not doing all that well. Sales have been down every month for the past few months after a small bump last year when XJ came to the market Jaguar for example sold just 800 cars in the US-down 40%- this past month (compare that with 15,000 + a month for BMW,Merc,Lexus each and almost 10,000 for the likes of Audi and Infiniti).Sales are down in Europe too. Part of their problem is the line up. Jaguar just have 3 models.They badly need a 3 series fighter which reportedly is on the way. XF is being refreshed and and is getting new engines it bad needs especially for Europe. Jag also needs a lot of tech upgrades as well if they have to effectively compete with similarly priced Germans and Lexus. All these needs massive investment from TATA which its already doing I believe.
Land Rover is doing very well though, and its effectively carrying Jaguar on its shoulders.Even in these down times,sales are up every month! With Evoque and an all new Range Rover on the way,it can only get better.

Last edited by Bimster : 4th September 2011 at 18:34.
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Old 4th September 2011, 18:49   #11
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Default Re: TATA needs exports/ should use the Rover brand

Jaguar has only recenlty started concentrating on the US market, after all till a couple of years ago they were down in the dumps. I am not saying Jaguar is as strong as BMW, Merc etc, but neither is it in a shape that is trouble some. Its making steady progress on all fronts. Its no longer recovering now, rather its onto the process of growth and expanding to newer markets.

And new models take time to come up, and a new X-type will take a couple of years. Similarly both Jaguar and Land Rover have to start assembly and manufacturing operations outside of the UK and expand into the growing markets. Jaguar, like you said, has limited presence in the USA too.
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Old 5th September 2011, 12:04   #12
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Default Re: TATA needs exports/ should use the Rover brand

Tata needs to tap the middle east market asap. Honestly they should have alreaby entered this market. I feel the problem is that they have not understood the customer requirements in this region. Both the Vista and Manza can be easily adapted for GCC conditions (ie LHD & AT). B segment market is not as huge as in India, but economies of scale will help in keeping costs low and make sales here profitable.
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Old 5th September 2011, 12:27   #13
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Default Re: TATA needs exports/ should use the Rover brand

I don't think the TATA badge can help them in Western or Middle east markets, where the low end car start at Tata's current top end. Given their quality and reputation as taxis, even in India, they don't stand a chance. OT, I wonder what any exec from Tata Motors would feel like if he/she reads this thread! They have to invent a brand, or reinvent something like Rover, specifically for the mid segment. But the technology, know-how and reputation has to be sourced from Jag/LR not from TATA badged cars.
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Old 5th September 2011, 15:37   #14
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Default Re: TATA needs exports/ should use the Rover brand

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I don't think the TATA badge can help them in Western or Middle east markets, where the low end car start at Tata's current top end.
There's plenty of room at the bottom. Well speced cars at very reasonable price points sell well here - brand agnostic. The chinese are already here and do exactly that. TM doesnt need to (and cannot) compete with biggies like Toyota or Nissan. Instead focus on low end B segment. We are not talking about thousands of units per month, just a few hundred. Its within TM's reach.
OT M&M tried this by exporting Scorpio petrol. They failed as the product was underpowered and had MT. But it was a good experiment. I read elsewhere on the forum that the XUV500 will be launched in Mideast as well. My guess is that it will have a petrol engine (from Ssangyong?) and AT.
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