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Old 9th May 2016, 10:06   #16
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Default Re: Tata Motors - Biggest automotive spender on R&D in 2015-16!

Would really like to know the R&D to Turnover ratio of JLR. It might have outsourced some of its R&D portion to India for cost benefits.
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Old 9th May 2016, 10:27   #17
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Default Re: Tata Motors - Biggest automotive spender on R&D in 2015-16!

Well, globally the pharma industry has higher percentage spending for R&D (~ 15%-20% avg. for the highest spenders) than the auto industry (~ 5% avg. for the highest spenders) - http://www.strategyand.pwc.com/innovation1000

What is really revealing is: Tata's standing among Indian pharma companies! R&D spending of 6% of revenues is better than global industry standard for automotive.

What would be really interesting is to see how Tata fares among Auto manufacturers in India. I don't know if this data is available. If Tata is indeed the highest R&D spender even among the Auto mfrs. in India, expect to see some really well engineered cars (compared to the competition) in the near future.

Now this has got me interested in the Hexa, Nexon and the Tiago.

On another note, the Indian pharma industry's spend % is much lower (~half) than global standards. I vaguely understand they export a lot / are contract manufacturers for the North American markets.
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Old 9th May 2016, 12:15   #18
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Default Re: Tata Motors - Biggest automotive spender on R&D in 2015-16!

Originally Posted by GrammarNazi View Post
Btw, how come Maruti Suzuki doesn't figure in such a list, especially given the large product range they offer !? AFAIK India is their primary market (although I guess they give us tertiary treatment in engine options).
One look at their product range and you'll get the answer. Be it the Ciaz, Brezza, Ertiga....most of it is a clever reuse of the resources they already had. Nothing wrong with that anyway, its just that Tata has to work much hard to get to a point where their product range can be re-utilized the way Maruti and Hyundai (Creta) do...

Arguably the only exception is the S Cross, and that was never developed in India if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 9th May 2016, 15:53   #19
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Default Re: Tata Motors - Biggest automotive spender on R&D in 2015-16!

While I'm happy with this, it only means a strong potential pipeline for the end user. Till we get our hands on a truly desirable TATA car which can give a hassle free experience for at least 5 years, it only shows intent.

What they need is that ONE product that will blow off the competition despite their ASS.
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Old 10th May 2016, 08:55   #20
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Default Re: Tata Motors - Biggest automotive spender on R&D in 2015-16!

What TATA really needs is to invest more money in After Sales Service. That's where all the bad publicity of TATA comes from. No Doubt about it that TATA makes wonderful cars, But the service experience makes many a customer shy away from TATA cars altogether.
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Old 10th May 2016, 10:05   #21
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My experience from talking to an average car buyer is that they think

- Tata cars are unreliable and
- they have low resale value.

These are two issues that stop people from buying good, well-engineered Tata cars.

Reliability has not been an problem in my personal experience over the past few years. How Tata intends to fix the low resale value problem, I'm not so sure. A gigantic R&D budget probably won't help much in this regard.
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Old 10th May 2016, 18:24   #22
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Default Re: Tata Motors - Biggest automotive spender on R&D in 2015-16!

TATA has to improve in their before and after sales experience, their is lot to be desired

New TATA cars are reliable(at least haven't heard major issues in their new launches), but the very way the sales team, approaches a customer is different from say Maruthi or Toyota.

TATA salesman treat most of their customers as commercial cab operators or cab drivers, things have not improved from my 1st purchase in 2007 (indica Xeta) to till date (concorde motors diary circle is probably the worst showroom visits i have ever encountered).

Their service center folks try to loot you from the very 1st instance. When i wanted to get my ex-car serviced from Prerana motors, i called them to book an appointment, the operator on the phone informed me that the service costs would be 7k+ even without looking at the vehicle!
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Old 13th May 2016, 13:09   #23
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Default Re: Tata Motors - Biggest automotive spender on R&D in 2015-16!

I believe there are broadly three elements to this.

1. Product Design & Quality
2. Service (repair quality) & Spares (availability)
3. Customers' aspiration

Tata's R&D spend has clearly been in improving its Product quality over the last few years, quite evident from the way Zest, Bolt & Tiago have come out.
The R&D spend is in bringing their products closer to the Japs & Koreans. Without a competent product, customer today won't give a second thought, unless its some niche segment.

However, they are a long way from becoming an aspirational brand for me. They should move away from that Tata design philosophy - curved bonnet on Zest, Bolt etc. doesn't appeal to me. Aria looking like a swollen Indica - but that's just me.

Service quality has always been a weak point of Tata's, or so I have heard. But this sure was with old generation vehicles. I am not much abreast with service quality of the new-gen vehicles. Mind you, evolved engineering products need lesser visits to the workshop. But once they visit, its up to the same service team that has repaired old-gen vehicles, and service team's quality is most important here.

Aspirations - most important aspect where Tata is struggling, in my opinion.

With this product R&D spend, Tata is addressing only one part of the problem - or so it seems to an outsider.
There must be efforts in improving service experience.
Messi will create an aspiration only if I feel strong liking for the brand Tata and their better engineered / designed & quality products.

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