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Old 25th August 2008, 18:49   #121
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150 years in the business - and they couldn't see this coming ? Really ?

Tata should've known better. I would blame them squarely.

Tata's first - and foremost duty is to ensure shareholder's interest. That they erred on this is a mistake - which is going to cost both Tata - and this country dearly.
Agree 100%. The decision to go with West Bengal should've been seen as very very risky in the first place - perhaps a misplaced wish to be be "benevolent" and "help" an industrially crippled state is to blame for this. Perhaps he harboured grandiose dreams of turning Singur into another Jamshedpur - Ratanpur, maybe.

There are so many states offering free land now - if they had negotiated right they could've avoided West Bengal from the start. They cannot afford any delays in this project as delays = cost and cost is something they cannot afford to drive up.
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Old 25th August 2008, 19:25   #122
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But that is the problem with the Tatas, isn't it? They want to do something that will benefit the state etc. Mr. Tata has himself said he has a soft corner for West Bengal. I can only hope they are not forced to pull out.
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Old 25th August 2008, 20:15   #123
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But that is the problem with the Tatas, isn't it? They want to do something that will benefit the state etc. Mr. Tata has himself said he has a soft corner for West Bengal. I can only hope they are not forced to pull out.
I was in Kolkata recently. From what I've seen and heard, Singur is a mess. A friend works for Tata Motors so this is second hand info - none of the ancillaries have started operations. From horns to lights, the nano is still not volume capable. It will take anywhere between 12-18 months to even stablise operations just in Singur, leave alone the team it might take in moving out. Nano project is in a mess, thanks to the the megnanamous WB love Tata displayed [or was it cheap land + labour that brought him there - love, land and labour, the three Ls]. This is a nice open secret that media is not too interested to cover. What with all the nice-feel-good Nano PR and nobody wants to get in Tata's bad books. Not just yet. Wait till the pack of hynes get their act together.

Add to that the 12.5 % official and 15-20% unofficial inflation rate. The one lakh price tag spells disaster.

And - the final nail in this whole coffin business. The entry of ubiqoutous competitors - fabled Bajaj and Nissan-Renault. It can't get any worse for the yet-unborn Nano.

Hence Tata's sudden outburst. Nothing is going right, so get working on scapegoats.

I might be cynical here - but would love to be proved wrong.
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Old 25th August 2008, 21:50   #124
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When you call for an tender whio ever is the lowest bidder will win the project. That is the motto followed by industries. The same thisng has happened here. WB quoted a lowest prices and some weavers in taxes and tatas, had gone by it s they were the lowest. I believe that WB govt had assured tatas the land in Singur and tatas completely belived it (as they did not have any thing not to believe them). As this the first major project in WB, and since this the first time such a huge opposition has been raised, tatas as any other industralists did not guess it might take such a turn at the end.

Just now, saw in CNN-IBN newsflash that MB will not rest until the lands are returned back to their owners. (farmers) . In this case, there is no other go to tata rather than come out of WB asap.

Also, as informed by agentsmith, Bajaj is also behind their back for the chepeast car which will be rolled out sooner. If tatas does not take off quickly surely, the Nano will be the looser.
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Old 25th August 2008, 22:00   #125
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Tatas recently pulled out of Bangladesh as well. As they say - fool me once, Shame on you - Fool me twice, shame on me. How can one NOT blame the Tatas for getting it wrong - so many times.

Seriously. I'm selling short on Tata Motors.
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Old 25th August 2008, 22:39   #126
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Seriously. I'm selling short on Tata Motors.
Its the people of country who will loose out. We will loose a good city FE friendly vehicle in getting released by Oct-08. And of course, Tatas also.
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Old 25th August 2008, 23:08   #127
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Agree 100%. The decision to go with West Bengal should've been seen as very very risky in the first place - perhaps a misplaced wish to be be "benevolent" and "help" an industrially crippled state is to blame for this. Perhaps he harboured grandiose dreams of turning Singur into another Jamshedpur - Ratanpur, maybe.
In retrospection, One can always come up with all sort of reasoning, which can prove Tatas wrong.

If you look from other angle:

1. Tata were given red carpet by Left Front government, which is desperately trying to prove its worth to businesses.

2. Left Front has stranglehold on WB since last 3 decades, irrespective any political waves coming and fading in this country. And, Left Front is very keen to host TATAs.

3. Most of the labour unions have strong affiliation to one or other communist party. With Left Front backing the project, TATAs would have expected lesser labour problems.

If things went right (which was excellent possibility when they started), everyone would have been lauding TATAs on their decision.
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Old 25th August 2008, 23:50   #128
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2. Left Front has stranglehold on WB since last 3 decades, irrespective any political waves coming and fading in this country. And, Left Front is very keen to host TATAs.

I agree. Left were a party to the Central Govt as well. However, WB has always been politicall explosive. Governments change all the time. Even if Tatas survive the scare now, a new Govt in power can always re-open the deal [a la bofors]. I'm amazed Tatas choose to invest going primarily by a party's whip. Choosing a politically neutral and stable state should've been the first priority.

Would you invest in Kashmir/Arunachal Pradesh if the local govt roll out red carpet - OR wait till minor investments start flowing and an industry starts building up ?

Me? I don't have that kind of money - but if I have to, I would rather invest in the Detroit corridor of Chennai with ready-built infrastructure, world class neighbours [hence a good talent pool] and a nice port at the drop of a hat than risk 1500 crores on a risky gamble.

Or maybe that's the reason why I don't have that kind of money.
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Old 26th August 2008, 01:41   #129
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And by god, they sure have. For people who talk about Rockefellar philanthropy without knowing who the person behind it was - I suggest a keen reading of Rockefellar's antics.

Don't get me wrong - what politicians are doing at singur is wrong. But I don't see how a democracy could function otherwise. Its upto the capitalists to ensure their power one-upness. Think Reliance and their numerous dot-on-the-schedule projects. I'm sure they have detractors - like Tatas. I'm sure there were people who didn't see eye to eye with Dhirubhai.

So - again, how did the Ambanis manage to grow in the presence of the Wadias and what have yous?

How did the Mittals of Bharti survive and grow - from scratch ?

Because capitalists - and that's not a negative connotation to people here I hope - are supposed to deal with the environment in they operate. And not act like - pardon my french - sissies.

My cynical and shareholder self of Tata Motors' would blame none other than the Tata - and Tata alone.

150 years in the business - and they couldn't see this coming ? Really ?

Schedule a study lesson from the uber-corrupt Hyundais, Mr Tata. Sorry - the last suggestion was a snide joke.

You hate our corrupt democracy ? What's your solution - A China-like totalitarian regime ?

In China, the party occupies land on its whim. Need a road ? Throw people out. Need a stadia - demolish everything in sight. Let people fend for themselves. People not happy ? Jail them. I suggest a keen viewing of BBC documentaries on youtube to get a grasp on human issues in a totalitarian regime.

India is on the right track hiccups notwithstanding. Please don't blame Mamta for creating ruckus. She's just doing her job. Don't blame the thousand-strong crowd that throngs her rallies. They have their right to express their anguish. They are as much citizens of this country as your are - if there's anything like quantifying the citizenship of this nation.

The system works as advertised, thank you.

Tata should've known better. I would blame them squarely.

Tata's first - and foremost duty is to ensure shareholder's interest. That they erred on this is a mistake - which is going to cost both Tata - and this country dearly.
Rockfeller is and has always been considered as a symbol of philanthrophy among industrialists. Ofcourse he did run an oil empire which was a monopoly and that was dealt with by the courts. Even Bill Gates can be accused of similiar things. But I still consider Bill Gates to be a philanthropher of the highest order.

Lets get back to Tata. If you are a shareholder of Tata and a keen observer of business you must have known that Tata had intended that Nano would be eventually be produced from various locations across the country. Singur is however a very symbolic location in the sense that an exclusive factory is being built for just Nano. Other locations currently support other Tata Motors' product lines. I am very sure they have a plan B.
According to you Tata is incompetent because of his straight forward style. Corporate shareholdings work in a democratic fashion. If you dont like the company, dump Tata shares and buy Bharati and Reliance that you seem to admire. Bharati's Mittal is the son of a politician and is well connected in Delhi. Reliance guys are well connected too. They execute very well but they are not straight forward. Someone who is not straight forward might not carry along their shareholders' interests with them. I would never invest in those companies for this reason despite the fact that they are considered growth stocks.

You think Singur is hurting you then you do not seem to follow the company. Singur has alternatives. But an even more difficult decision made by Tata Motors is buying Jaguar-Landrover. You do not seem to complain on this. Even raising funds for acquiring those white elephants seems to be difficult. I do complain, because I was a shareholder of Ford Motor Co. and I was burnt by it.
Thanks for your suggestions on 'reading'.
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Old 26th August 2008, 07:46   #130
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Default Tatas set 2-week Singur deadline

Tatas set 2-week Singur deadline

NEW DELHI: The top management of Tata Motors has reportedly indicated internally that the company will pull the plug on Singur, if the situation does not improve within the next fortnight.

According to sources, even though the company can possibly dismantle its Singur plant and install it somewhere else, it will definitely lose Rs 100-200 crore on account of expenses incurred in laying the foundation, besides the inevitable delay in full-scale production of the Nano.

Auto industry sources say that the Nano launch may not get affected by the agitation in Singur, because the first batch of around 4,000-5,000 cars is reportedly already ready at Tata Motors’ Pantnagar and Pune plants.

ET was the first to report that Pantnagar might be the alternative site option for the Nano in its edition dated November 29, 2007. When contacted, a Tata Motors spokesperson said: “We would not like to comment on speculation.” But even if the launch deadline is met, the overall rollout schedule will definitely get disrupted by the Singur agitation.

The mood in the company continues to be gloomy, as the top officials are upset at the turn that the agitation took as well as the personal attacks on Tata Motors chairman Ratan Tata.

Sources in Singur say that agitators have blocked all trucks from entering not just Singur, but also Kolkata. As a result, all supplies to the plant site have been seriously affected. Meanwhile, Tata Motors officials are tight-lipped about the future of the project. However, sources add that the factory itself is a “readymade construction, which can be moved, though the plinth loss will be substantial”.

The real challenge, should the project move out, would be to transfer the hydraulic presses and the other bulky machinery.

Although no one in the company is officially “even thinking” about the next course of action should Singur come a cropper, sources say that one option for the company could be to crank out the first couple of batches of the Nano from Pantnagar and Pune before the new site is up and running. Mr Tata’s public announcement that he might pull the plug on Singur late last week attracted immediate counter offers from a number of state governments, including Maharashtra, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Uttaranchal.

The Rs 1,000-crore Nano plant in Singur has been in trouble right from the word go. When it was first announced late 2006, it sparked off protests in the area and ever since, the company has had to battle both the agitation and flooding in the plant site.

Currently, the bone of contention is 400 acres earmarked for the ancillary units of the project. The total project has been granted 1,000 acres by the state government on lease. The agitationists are pushing for the return of the 400 acres to farmers who are unwilling to give up their land for the project.

Source: Tatas set 2-week Singur deadline- Automobiles-Auto-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times
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Old 26th August 2008, 09:02   #131
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Originally Posted by sridhga View Post
According to you Tata is incompetent because of his straight forward style. Corporate shareholdings work in a democratic fashion. If you dont like the company, dump Tata shares and buy Bharati and Reliance that you seem to admire. Bharati's Mittal is the son of a politician and is well connected in Delhi. Reliance guys are well connected too. They execute very well but they are not straight forward. Someone who is not straight forward might not carry along their shareholders' interests with them. I would never invest in those companies for this reason despite the fact that they are considered growth stocks.
Please don't get me wrong. Tata has built a multi-billion dollar empire - they can't be plain incompetent.


But complaining about Singur in public by the CEO of a very public company - comes as a surprise. As I said, the complain doesn't come as a shock. The fact that he is complaining - does. If they have a plan B - please do execute - why complain ?

I respect the Tatas more than the Ambanis. I can see that you don't respect Reliance or Mittals either - and I can understand. Mittals will never part with 90% of their wealth like the Gates for philanthropy. Gates followed suspect business practices for the good of the company. Ambanis do it for their own good company, ofcourse, is incidental.

Was just playing devil's advocate - nothing more, nothing less. Sorry if I sounded cynical. Not here to ruffle feathers
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Old 26th August 2008, 12:21   #132
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Agree 100%. The decision to go with West Bengal should've been seen as very very risky in the first place - perhaps a misplaced wish to be be "benevolent" and "help" an industrially crippled state is to blame for this. Perhaps he harboured grandiose dreams of turning Singur into another Jamshedpur - Ratanpur, maybe.

There are so many states offering free land now - if they had negotiated right they could've avoided West Bengal from the start. They cannot afford any delays in this project as delays = cost and cost is something they cannot afford to drive up.
To sell Nano at the declared price, it was crucial to keep the cost of everything lowest, including the cost of the factory land. It was WB that offered the cheapest and best deal at the time the decision to locate the factory was made. It was purely commercial wisdom that dictated the decision, not philanthropic or benevolent intentions. Given the current real estate scenario, I seriously doubt if states can afford to offer land on terms better than Singur. However, if the agitation continues, Tata will have no option but to quit Singur.
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Old 26th August 2008, 16:48   #133
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What matters is that that arrogant, greedy industry and arrogant, greedy politics learn the lesson.

There seems to be some sort of hero worship attitude that Mr Tata can do no wrong. Of course, I don't know him, although I can say that once was enough, and I'll not buy his product again, but I doubt that he is any angel among businessmen, who are interested, mainly in their own pockets.

Let those who think this is a good idea have their own homes and livelihoods stolen from them and be put on the street with bare minimum 'compensation'. Wake up guys, and ask, 'What if it was me?'. And remember not to fool yourselves; it is not for the community, it is not for India, it is to fill a few pockets and enlarge a few egos. This is the worst sort of capitalism and the worst kind of government,

Even if the compensation was sufficient (remember, a displaced farmer might never work again; he is won't be high on the list of favoured candidates for an engineering job) and the people happy, it seems to me criminal that good, fertile, profitable farm land is given for car building plants. Thousands of people in India are killing themselves because they cannot make money out of their land.
Hero worship I dont know. But read this this article on rediff.com and you cant stop admiring Mr. Ratan Tata.

Ratan Naval Tata has been called many things. Quiet. Reticent. Humble. A businessman par excellence. Tenacious. And a tiger, when pushed to the wall.


As we all witnessed when it looked like the controversy about Singur, where the Tata Nano was to be manufactured, looked like escalating instead of dying down.

The 70-year-old roared, "If people say that that we will protect our investments irrespective of anything then they are wrong. I will not bring in my employees to Singur if there is threat of them being beaten up. Tata will do whatever necessary to protect its employees."
It was a statement, not a threat -- a statement that Ratan Tata will not hesitate to execute.
Here are some more inspirational words of wisdom from a titan of India's business world. [COLOR=#800080]Check them out. . .[/COLOR]

Read the full article at :

rediff.com: Ratan Tata's words of inspiration
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Old 26th August 2008, 17:22   #134
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The 70-year-old roared, "If people say that that we will protect our investments irrespective of anything then they are wrong. I will not bring in my employees to Singur if there is threat of them being beaten up. Tata will do whatever necessary to protect its employees."
It was a statement, not a threat -- a statement that Ratan Tata will not hesitate to execute.
. He is a man of words and he will not hesitate to stay by his statements. We have seen this during launch of Nano. Even though the i/p costs have gone up, he told "a promise is a promise" and people will get the car at 1 Lac.
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Old 26th August 2008, 17:40   #135
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When i was at the Delhi Auto Show i happened to come across Mr. Sitaram Yechury of the CPI checking out this Merc roadster with his son. He seemed like a nice guy and was quite knowledgeable about cars. I had the impression that Communists were cool , since then. How could they mess up this situation so badly?. Didn't they foresee what would happen if they withdrew support?. If you catch my drift, and that's why all this is coming to a boil all of a sudden is my humble opinion.
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